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The Laval Virtual Awards have crown 12 innovative projects

The 26th Laval Virtual Awards ceremony took place on Thursday 11 April during the international VR/AR exhibition.

Crédits photos : Laval Virtual

The Laval Virtual Awards ceremony took place last night, Thursday 11 April, at the Laval Virtual event. For the 26th time, the best immersive projects of the year were honoured during an exceptional evening that brought together the entire international XR community. Here’s a look back at the 12 big winners.

7 VR/AR innovations promoted at the general contest

Since its creation 25 years ago, the Laval Virtual exhibition has been rewarding the best virtual and augmented reality projects of the year. Every year, the event promotes XR creators around the world.

A focus on health

The general competition rewards the creators of XR solutions worldwide in 7 categories. At the 26th Laval Virtual Awards ceremony, many of the projects were in the health and medical sector. In the “Enterprise & Productivity Solution” category, HRV Simulation won for its Nawo Live solution. This software quantifies the risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders, using AI, VR and motion capture.

On the medical side, two solutions stood out. The first, in the “XR for a Cause” category and developed by ALVI Labs, is a training and re-education system for people with hand disabilities. The second is immersive training for clinicians in the use of imaging methods such as ultrasound. Vantari VR won the prize in the “Education & Training” category.

New hardware and software

In the “Developer & Authoring Tools” category, Persistant Studios was rewarded for its PopcornFX solution. PopcornFX is a cutting-edge editor for creating visual effects in real time, available for PC, console and mobile devices. PopcornFX enables designers to integrate 3D engines (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc.) seamlessly and benefit from advanced simulation capabilities.

HTC Vive has won an award in the “XR Devices & Interaction Products” category. The brand has released its new VIVE Ultimate Tracker, its first positional tracker for standalone VR headsets. It offers even more versatility and functionality than its predecessors, making it ideal for all uses: industrial, motion capture, sports training and gaming.

A world premiere and a revolutionary promise

In the “Consumer Experience & Entertainment” category, the first theatrical performance on stage in Europe to use augmented reality won an award. The result of a collaboration between three Norwegian theatres and Glitch Studio, “Briar and Rose” offers a unique experience for children, who can finally realise their dream: seeing dragons and fairies in front of them! The show took place in 40 venues and was seen by over 6,000 spectators.

Finally, BIMaking’s Virtual Environment Eyes project won in the “Virtual Worlds & Metavers” category. According to its creators, this solution has the potential to revolutionise the architecture, engineering and construction industry. It will enable architects and engineers to use a virtual environment to design and collaborate, conduct virtual visits, train workers and monitor buildings in real time.

Competitions reveal new talent

The Laval Virtual competitions represent the future of immersive technologies. They highlight the work of young players and companies working on cutting-edge projects and innovative solutions. This year, 4 awards were presented, as well as two special mentions.

Young creators in the spotlight

Dedicated to content creators and developers, the #Experiences category focuses on cross-tech VR/AR content. This year’s winner was CinemaLeap Inc‘s “SEN” project, an immersive, interactive experience that recreates the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Its creator wanted to encourage users to introspect and ask questions about themselves. In the same category, the jury gave a special mention to ‘The high fire’ project by Vingt-Cinquième Heure, an interactive documentary experience in VR about the memory of an industrial heritage.

In the #Startups category, which rewards start-ups less than three years old,  Dexr won the award. This Belgian company offers an XR learning platform that combines teaching and games. It also enables anyone to create immersive learning content. Dexr was rewarded for its project that is revolutionising the immersive sector.

When VR/AR research goes further

Research projects were honoured at the Laval Virtual Awards ceremony. In the #ReVolution category, dedicated to research laboratories, universities and research departments, National Tsing Hua University was awarded a prize for its “Embrace” project. This is a virtual reality experience, coupled with a haptic device, on the subject of anorexia nervosa. The team, made up of four women, wanted to create this experience to show the reality surrounding this illness.

Finally, in the #Students category, the “4DEscape” project received an award. This category is for schools and students who want to explore future XR applications and solutions. “4DEscape” aims to reinvent our perception of mixed reality by integrating elements of real life into a virtual environment. The experiment involves two people, one in the real world and one in the virtual world, working together to complete challenges. In the same category, the jury gave a special mention to the “Bookwander” project, a virtual reality reading application.

Once again, historic players and new talents in the immersive sector were honoured at the Laval Virtual Awards ceremony. The exhibition continues on its final day, today Friday 12 April, with more than 150 exhibitors. Meanwhile, the Recto VRso festival of immersive and interactive art opened its doors yesterday until Sunday. As part of the festival, the artwork “Fossiles” won an award.

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