The 2023 Polys WebXR Awards Ceremony will be held on March 5th at ZeroSpace XR studio in New York City and broadcast live in AltSpaceVR and on YouTube. This will be the 3rd annual awards ceremony and the first held in person. Among this year’s honorees are Patrick Cozzi, CEO of Cesium, for his work on the glTF model format; Brittan Heller, for her work in advancing law, privacy, and human rights in the domain of XR and new technologies; and Evo Heyning, for her work with OMI – Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, XR Guild, and MetaTr@contactvigo-universal-be
The Polys WebXR Awards were launched during the pandemic by Ben Erwin in collaboration with Julie Smithson and Sophia Moshasha in order to honor the creators of projects built in WebXR. While world-renowned awards like the Oscars and Emmys celebrate Cinema and Television, the Poly Awards are an early equivalent for the next iteration of storytelling and entertainment in eXtended Reality and Immersive Content. This first of its kind XR awards program launched in 2021 with 11 awards honoring industry leaders and highlighting the best work being done in the field–solidifying the achievements of newly emerging as well as established artists and creators.
The initial Polys WebXR Awards paved the way for the creation of an ongoing series of WebXR Summits which have hosted over 200 industry leaders, the MetaTr@versal initiative which has been credited as being influential in the creation of the Metaverse Standards Forum, and 3 editions of the only Virtual Reality Golf Outing: Ready Player Golf with Richard Ward. This year’s Polys – WebXR Awards has expanded from its roots as an exclusively Metaverse and streaming event to also include an in-person awards program spotlighting cutting edge XR production technology available at its host venue, ZeroSpace. ZeroSpace is New York City’s premiere Metaverse Studio and Event Space, featuring an LED XR stage, Photogrammetry and a Motion Capture Stage.
Two-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Thomas Wallner, the passionate creator of the WebXR Platform Jackknife, won 3 Polys Awards for his experience, The Magic of Flight. Wallner has credited the Polys WebXR Awards as being “a really important validation of our work and our vision at a time where it was really crucial. [The Polys] was instrumental in convincing some investors to come and help us along our road map of where [we] are going and so it’s been extremely beneficial.”
Wallner has likened the Polys to the Emmys emphasizing that “recognizing that the achievements of early innovators working in WebXR will project the whole medium forward” noting that a Polys WebXR Award is transformative for artists and developers “democratizing the creation process.” Wallner has highlighted that “The Polys Awards will… le[a]d directly to the expansion of the medium which I think is the whole purpose of it.”
The 3rd Polys – WebXR Awards will be streamed live from the LED stage at ZeroSpace on March 5th. The VR watch party will be the final event in the breathtaking VR World The Polys – Red Carpet Theatre. Days later Altspace VR will shut down, making it a bittersweet farewell to the virtual venue built by World Builders Cause+Christi which has hosted numerous events, including the previous 2 Polys. Red carpet interviews by Sophia Moshasha begin at 5pm Eastern, followed by the ceremony hosted by Julie Smithson.