MackMedia presented the inaugural AUREA Awards to celebrate innovative projects from digital pioneers in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Ten finalists pitched a live presentation of their innovations to the panel of judges in the categories of Creativity, Experience, Influence, Innovation and Interaction. The day culminated in an awards ceremony held at Europa Park, Germany on the 30th November.
Projects were showcased across the breadth of the industry from game and app developments, to software and hardware tools to facilitate AR/VR projects.
“The quality of the projects was sensational” said Michael Mack, managing director of MackMedia.
“All of the participants were united in their untiring desire to drive the entertainment industry forward. At the AUREAs, the junior AR and VR talent had the opportunity to exchange ideas about the most important issues on equal footing with the experts from the jury, but also with like-minded individuals, and to establish contacts, while finally giving the most exciting innovations the attention they deserve.”
The AUREA Awards celebrate innovation
Kathleen Cohen, a digital experience expert who has implemented successful projects for DreamWorks Interactive and IBM Innovation, led the panel. This included Thomas Wagner, co-founder & CEO of VR Coaster; Friedbert Pflüger, Chairman of Internet Economy Foundation; Emily Olman, Co-founder & CEO of Spatial First, Co-President of VR/AR Association SF Chapter; and Frank Govaere, VFX Supervisor at UFA Serial Drama GmbH.
“More than 50 companies submitted their projects initially. The ten finalists were all working at the very top level. The decisions about which candidates would emerge victorious in each category were not easy to make. The level – whether AR or VR project, whether single or multi-user – was exceedingly high,” said Cohen at the awards ceremony.
The winning companies in each category are:
- Experience – Aesir Interactive “Meet the Miner”
- Innovation – Kynoa “Koliseum Soccer VR”
- Interaction – Backlight “Eclipse”
- Creative – headraft “Tunnel AR”
- Impact – eyecandylab “augmen.tv”
Other companies that made it into the finals included Birdly VR and Animationsinstitut. The AUREA Awards will be returning to the park again next year.
Europa Park has been at the forefront of mixed reality in the attractions industry, since 2015 when it became the world’s first park to add virtual reality to a rollercoaster. Now guests can choose between five different 60° MackMedia experiences on the ‘Alpenexpress Coastiality’ ride. MackMedia have patented the product and installed on seventy coasters around the world, entertaining more than eight million passengers worldwide.
Most recently Europa Park added the ‘Eurosat Coastiality‘ attraction to the park- another world’s first where guests don a VR headset during the pre-show, walk through the station, onto the attraction and ride the coaster all without removing the headset off. The ‘Ride and Roam’ experience was also a cooperation between MackMedia, VR Coaster, Holodeck VR and EuropaCorp.