3 May 2023 | Sam Sprigg
Meet the finalists for the XR Prize Challenge: Fight Climate Change
XR Prize Challenge

The finalists for AWE's XR Prize Challenge: Fight Climate Change (aka "the XR Prize") have been announced. After the competition was first unveiled at AWE EU in October last year, we have seen hundreds of entries submitted, many of which demonstrated innovative ways in which augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology can be used to help humanity in its fight against one of the biggest existential threats that we are facing as a species today – climate change.

"It's humbling to work with so many diverse teams haling from all around the globe," said Dace Campbell, XR Prize Manager, "and truly inspiring to see and experience so many creative proposals to harness XR in our fight against climate change."

There were four distinct categories under which entrants could submit their nominations. These categories were:

Replacing Wasteful Material Consumption – For solutions that demonstrate that XR is a viable medium for reducing society's dependence on wasteful transportation, consumption of goods, and unsustainable real estate development.

Visualizing The Causes & Impacts of Climate Change – For solutions that demonstrate XR’s unique ability to educate people about the causes and effects of climate change, and influence behaviors and policies to promote equity and fairness.

Educating About Solutions to Climate Change – For solutions that demonstrate XR as a unique story-telling medium for giving a voice to climatologists and sustainability solutions providers, providing them with a powerful platform to educate communities and expand their reach.

Optimizing Design & Execution of Climate Solutions – For solutions that demonstrate XR as a unique decision-optimization tool, enabling professionals to design and develop perfected solutions that give us the best possible chance to mitigate and reverse climate change.

150 projects made it to the MVP stage of the competition, wherein they had to demonstrate a minimum viable product and highlight to judges exactly how their solutions addressed aspects of:

Creativity – Entrants had to demonstrate how their submissions exhibited appropriateness, quality, beauty, design, and originality, as well as highlight the uniqueness of their XR product or project as a solution for fighting climate change.

Functionality – Entrants had to show how their submissions took into account a range of functional requirements, including thoughtful user experience, access, ease of use, and an innovative user interaction associated with their XR-based solutions.

Impact – Entrants had to quantify the impact that their XR-based solutions would have and demonstrate how they would deliver on their promise to fight climate change, including the viability of the solution in the marketplace, its ability to be scaled, and how a solution would be demonstrated or calculated to achieve its intended effect.

Not everyone could move on to the last stage of the competition, and of these MVP projects, 11 have been selected to make it through to the final round, where they will each present on stage at AWE 2023 this month in Santa Clara, CA.

Without further ado, please meet your XR Prize Challenge finalists (listed alphabetically by project):

Between Two Worlds by Under The Skin X Virtualosus
Between Two Worlds is an augmented reality app that invites viewers to experience wildlife art as they’ve never seen before. Scanning endangered animals brings them to life and reveals the threats to their habitats.

Figmin XR by Overlay

Figmin XR is a versatile AR app that lets you create, collect, and play with immersive digital objects, reducing wasteful material practices and promoting sustainability.

inCitu by
inCitu brings future cities to life through Augmented Reality to foster collaboration around the process of urban change.

Lowjacking by
Climate Emergency Network, University of the Arts London
Lowjacking - Correcting Creative Control digitally exposes the environmental-impacts of the worlds most polluting brand advertisements, redesigning them to champion environmentally friendly alternatives.

Mangrove City by University of Miami
Mangrove City is a VR experience designed for middle school students to explore the crucial role of mangrove forests in protecting coastal communities and mitigating climate change.

OcellusXR by Urban Systems Lab
Ocellus XR is a mixed reality application designed to visualize heat and flood related climate risks in New York City.

Origen Xr by Presencias
Origen Xr is an immersive story-world where stories meet meaningful interactions to connect with the common origin that unites all living beings on Earth, nature. VR, AR and more.

Qikiqtaruk - Experiencing the Arctic under threat by Qikiqtaruk VR Team, produced in collaboration with IVAR Studios
This VR experience allows you to travel to Qikiqtaruk, at the forefront of climate change, with an Arctic scientist and an Inuvialuit park ranger as your guides, where users can experience the tundra thaw away beneath their feet.

The Immersion Project by The Immersion Project Team
The Immersion Project is a scientific research project, an AR/art exhibition, and a solution to restore deep-sea corals and support their role in mitigating climate change.

The Sea is Coming! by Virtual Planet
The Sea is Coming! is an interactive VR experience that educates users on the effects of climate change as they make tough decisions, save the coast, and prepare for climate change.

Waste Warrior by ARRR
Waste Warrior is a location-based trash-sorting game we are piloting in Singapore to educate the public about the local recycling program.

Entries from the finalists along with the above videos for each solution are also available to view on the XR Prize Finalists gallery.

An enormous thank you goes out to all the entrants that rose to meet the XR Prize Challenge and submitted their projects and solutions. Teams put in a lot of hard work and dedication to show how their solutions could help to fight climate change through the use of XR technology, and have demonstrated that there is hope for humanity yet. Our judges were extremely impressed by the strategic, thoughtful, and creative XR solutions that they reviewed.

Congratulations goes out to all the finalists that have made it this far. We are certainly looking forward to seeing what the final presentations will have in store when they are made in-person in front of our judging panel on May 30th at AWE 2023. The XR Prize winner(s) will be announced on June 1 at the event.


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