AWE, IEEE and VR First Partner to Honor Industry-Academia Collaboration in Augmented and Virtual Reality at AWE EU 2018

The original press release can be read here.

VR First announced that 20 finalists have been selected for the Breakthrough Auggie Awards. Organized and presented by AWE, IEEE and VR First at AWE EU 2018, the Breakthrough Auggie Awards honor academic-industry collaborations using AR, VR and MR (XR) that showcase innovation with the greatest potential to spark mass adoption and industrial use of these immersive technologies.

NEW: Breakthrough Auggie Awards

VR First, IEEE and AWE added the new Breakthrough Auggie Awards to AWE’s long-established “Best of Show” Auggie Awards program

  • Most Innovative Breakthrough: Honouring a collaborative project which has introduced a new, novel and unique approach not seen before
  • Most Impactful Breakthrough: Honouring a collaborative project which demonstrates a use case which has the potential to dramatically impact the industry
  • Women XR Laureate: Honouring a female researcher or project manager leading an industry-academia collaborative project

These three fresh award categories spotlight the most promising XR projects at the intersection of academia and industry. In its first year, the new Breakthrough Auggies program has seen more than 100 top-ranking brands, by the world’s universities, research institutes and individuals spanning 32 countries submit projects for consideration.

The list of finalists and their projects considered for a Breakthrough Auggie Award can be viewed below (in no particular order):

1.Virtual Reality Vision Therapy VERVE (Virtual Eye Rotation Vision Exercises) by OculoMotor Technologies, New Jersey Institute of Technologies, IEEE EPICS, Salus University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, New Jersey Health Foundation, John Vito d’Antonio-BertagnolliNational Science Fdn
2. Noland by Vancouver Film School, Iris Creative Lab
3. ABC: As-Built Capture by Transition Technologies PSC, NCBiR, Poyry Polska, Inwego, Projekt “M”, Microsoft
4. VitiVR: Viticulture VR Training Simulation by Vinistanbul, VR First BAU, BUG Game LAB, Bahçeşehir University
5. eHERITAGE by University of Transilvania of Brasov (UTBv), Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) — Expanding the Research and Innovation Capacity in Cultural Heritage Virtual Reality Applications
6. Virtual Forest by Tieto, Metsä Group, University of Helsinki, CTRL Reality, Simosol
7. Virtual Reality Training by HOWEST, DAEresearch, Dana, Picanol, Barco, Cronos at the Leie — Dana & Picanol case, cnh industrialcapital
8. Empowering Young Job Seekers by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), SalMar ASA, Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett AS, Aqualine AS, NTNU
9. Be Curious Avatar Project by CreamVR, The Sheridan College Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), National Research Council of Canada (NRC-CRNC)
10. Hololens External Fixation by Digital Surgery, University College Hospital, Microsoft — Interactive Surgical Guide, Touch Surgery
11. ADHD Augmented (AHA) by University College Dublin School of Computer Science, HADD Ireland, WordsWorthLearning, CNR ITD, WordsWorth Learning
12. Data Visualization and Analytics in VR by Caltech, NASA JPL, Virtualitics
13. Virtual Reality Flight Simulator for Surgery by Kings College London, University College Hospital London, UCLA, Figment Productions, FundamentalVRMayo ClinicImperial College London3D Systems Corporation
14. Make Time — Harrisons Fund & HoloPortal Ravensbourne by Harrisons Fund, DoubleMe, Ravensbourne University, Orbital Media, Squire Studio
15. In Teach AR by CreatiXR, BAUSTEM, BAU VR First Lab
16. The Stanford Virtual Heart by Stanford University Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Lighthaus IncStanford Health CareStanford Magazine
17. Virtual Brain Segmenter by RareFaction Interactive, USC
18. Shared Sphere by University of South Australia, SA Power Networks, Nova Systems, PTC, CSIRO
19. Virtual und Augmented Reality in the Hamburg Port by Hamburg Port Authority, Absolute Software, Human-Computer Interaction at University of Hamburg
20. BRAVEMIND 2.0 by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Dell, Intel – A VR PTSD Exposure Therapy System, USC

The winners of the Breakthrough Auggie Awards will be selected with the help of the Award Jury Board made up of industry and academic leaders including:

Find out more information about the Breakthrough Auggie Awards here:

Best in Show Auggie Awards

The Breakthrough Auggie Awards join AWE EU’s traditional Best in Show Auggie Awards, which will be selected by popular vote during the AWE EU 2018 conference and expo. No submission is necessary to be considered for a Best in Show Auggie Award, as all exhibiting and sponsoring companies are automatically entered, and voted on during AWE EU by attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers. Past AWE EU Auggie Award winners include Ubimax, EYEJACK by Sutu, HoloCap, Innovation Rocks, PuttView, realities.ioSeabery, Table Tennis Trainer, TWNKLS, and more. The annual AWE EU Auggie Award categories are:

  • Best in Show — Augmented Reality
  • Best in Show — Virtual Reality presented by Bosch
  • Best in Show — Overall presented by PTC

“Breakthrough” and “Best Of” Auggies Award winners will be announced at AWE EU 2018 on October 19, 2018 in the Closing Remarks and Auggie Award Ceremony hosted on the Main Stage at 4:00 pm CEST.

“AWE’s longstanding tradition of Auggie Award recognition demonstrates our commitment to keeping our finger on the pulse of new technologies and ideas, and to elevating awareness of innovations from all corners of the industry,” said Ori Inbar, founder and executive producer of AWE. “This year, as AWE is co-located with ISMAR’s academic conference, we felt it imperative to pay special tribute to excellence in immersive projects that are being built in collaboration between the academic community and industry — to highlight early stage academic projects that are bound to have economic impact on the industry and help drive adoption of XR among enterprises. We invite everyone to view and applaud the submissions of all Breakthrough Auggie Award nominees.”

“As the network of XR labs, VR First is always committed to the mission of fostering XR innovation around the world,” said Ferhan Ozkan, CEO of VR First. “The Breakthrough Auggie Awards give the AWE audience the chance to recognize the innovation and collaboration of many passionate teams in our extended network. They also herald our commitment to ultimately launch the XR First Innovation Platform — a future series of hackathons, competitions and open, crowd-based innovation projects to further challenge and incentivize the entire XR community for years to come.”

More about VR First

VR First is a global program designed to enable creators, companies, and governments interested in exploring the power and potential of immersive technologies. VR First Labs and facilities are key locations for nurturing new talent in VR/AR development and converting ideas into business opportunities. Under the XR First brand, VR First offers competition services and innovation platform to prepare companies for the challenges of tomorrow. For more information, visit:


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Newsflash:  SMARTlab Oz opened at the Old Railway Station in Newcastle Australia, in collaboration with Renew Newcastle and a team of interdisciplinary artists and technologists with a vision to make real social and cultural impact in the city and surroundings.  SMARTlab colleagues Zi Siang See, Dr Donovan Jones, Haireena Ooi and Shanna Fealey demonstrated a range of VR/AR projects with the community. Onwards SMARTlab Oz. . .

SMARTlab Oz Launches!

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Professor Lizbeth Goodman chaired the Inclusion panel at the Grace Hopper conference in Houston, with speakers Dr Rouyi Zhou (Director of Accessibility IBM), Dr Sara Basson (Accessibility Evangelist Google), Dr Jutta Treviranus (Director IDRC, Canada & recent SMARTlab PhD graduate), and Dr Cathy Bodine (Director Assistive Tech Partnerships, University of Denver). Their panel was cited in the top three of the 20,000 person event celebrating women’s leadership in Technology!


Share the stage with Sara Basson, Cathy Bodine, Jutta Treviranus, Lizbeth Goodman on The Next Frontier: Designing for Accessibility & Inclusion. #GHC18, #accessibility








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AIR GALLERY 511 West 25th Street NY, NY 10001 (

In the cold winter days of 2003, James Brosnan (an artist and journalist with cerebral palsy working in Dublin) contacted Lizbeth Goodman with a poem. The subsequent exchange of words kept hope burning through a winter marked by much loss and sorrow. The correspondence led to the idea for a collaborative project to integrate poetry and multiple voices into a film and a game about the need for movement and the importance of stillness.

James and Lizbeth wrote this story. We took up the Arthurian legends and made them relevant to our own situations as artists and writers in Ireland and England, both negotiating the major life themes of home, family, loss, life and the movements between. We played King Arthur and Queen Guenevere respectively, and have recruited dancers, singers and interface designers to work with us on co-creation of an interactive film to be played in the round, in the Omniglobe system. Each character is assigned one of the major elements: FIRE for Arthur, AIR for Guenevere, EARTH for Lancelot and WATER for the Lady of Shalott.

Irish composer and musician Denis Roche has written a new interactive score for the piece, also designed to be played in the round, in the globe system.

Dr Marc Price of BBC R&D has customised his Virtual TV Lounge game engine and platform to feature this work in game format.

Brian Duffy of the Anthropos robotics group at Media Lab Europe in Dublin has been working on a customisation of his bespoke Haptic Chair, to become James’s throne and major interface with the film. The chair responds to body movement (voluntary or involuntary) and so was anticipated to have a major impact for artists and citizens with all manner of physical needs.

The film/game was shown at the Siggraph Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA 8-12 August 2004.The film/game was shown at the Siggraph Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA 8-12 August 2004.

Guenevere’s Globe
A Lifedance and Game in Four Movements – commissioned by the Siggraph Art Gallery Los Angeles and AIR Gallery New York for the the Omniglobe. Full credits and story details are available on the link below:Inline images 1

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Date: Wednesday, August 22nd.
Time: 2-4 pm (2 hours)
Location: SMARTlab at the Lightbulb Factory, Newstead, UCD
Remote login information: Will be streamed live on


The $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE is a four-year global competition focused on the development of a  robotic Avatar System that will enable anyone to see, hear, touch and interact with physical environments and people in real-time at a distant location in a manner that feels as if they are truly there. An Avatar System is defined as a physical Robotic Avatar operated by a person (Operator) and interacting with an environment or a person at a distance (Recipient).

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE seeks to incentivize innovators around the world to imagine a future with avatars and integrate several emerging and exponential technologies to create a useful and functional physical robotic Avatar System. Current investment and research tend to focus on the development and incremental improvements of individual component technologies, rather than bringing together synergistic technologies to support transformational leaps. A successful solution to this challenge will enable humankind to take the next step in transcending the limits of physical transportation, leading to a more connected world.

The winning team will develop and demonstrate a robotic Avatar System that allows a human’s senses, actions and presence to be transported to a distant location in realtime. Such a system will enable humans to connect to others, or to accomplish a need at a remote location, via a physical form.

This Avatar System will enable the person using it to actually feel that they are present at the distant location. This sense of presence in a physical embodied Avatar form is a key criteria by which the overall success of the winning Avatar System will be evaluated.

This workshop will introduce the ANA Avatar XPRIZE in more detail, the goals, expectations and timelines for the four-year effort. We will also take some time to ideate some examples of a future where robotic Avatars are an integral part of everyday life.

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