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HomeConference NewsAWE Announces Winners of the $100,000 XR Prize Challenge and Auggie Awards

AWE Announces Winners of the $100,000 XR Prize Challenge and Auggie Awards

June 2, 2023 – Augmented World Expo 2023, Santa Clara, CA – Augmented World Expo (AWE), the leading series of worldwide events focused exclusively on the business of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) all known collectively as XR, today announced the $100,000 XR Prize Challenge: Fight Climate Change winner after a nearly year-long journey and hundreds of submitted projects from all over the world.

The $100,000 cash prize XR Prize Challenge is a global competition harnessing AR and VR (XR) solutions to help fight climate change, with awards distributed among 11 finalists selected from 21 countries across 5 continents. The finalists pitched at a live session on Tuesday, May 30. It is hosted by AWE, the renowned producer of global in-person and online XR events, and the world’s most impactful XR community. The contest highlights creative, functional, and impactful XR-based solutions to help humanity in our fight against climate change.

The winners of the Challenge are:

  • Best of Category: Optimize – InCitu – inCitu brings future cities to life through Augmented Reality to foster collaboration around the process of urban change
  • Best of Category: Educate – Mangrove City – Mangrove City by University of Miami 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
  • Best of Category: Visualize – Qikiqtaruk: Arctic at Risk – a project that unites educators, researchers, park rangers, northern community outreach officers, and VR content creators to create a virtual journey to Qikiqtaruk, an island at the forefront of climate change
  • Grand Prize Winner – Between Two Worlds – The Grand Prize winning “Between Two Worlds” Augmented Reality app invites viewers to experience wildlife art as they’ve never seen it before: scanning the endangered animals with your mobile device brings them to life and reveals the myriad threats to not only them, but their habitats as well

Videos, images and more from not only the winning apps but all the finalists may be found at

In addition, the acclaimed Auggie Award prizes were announced and distributed at the same event, with innovative winners across multiple categories – full details are also to be found at

“Between Two Worlds demonstrates a beautiful and thoughtful use of interactive AR that links physical artwork to real world impact. It is elegant in its simplicity and has the potential to scale and accelerate learning, donating, and acting towards the protection of biodiverse habitats worldwide: a powerful natural defense against climate change,” noted XR Prize Challenge judge Dr. Erika Woolsey,  Chief Scientist & CEO, The Hydrous.

Dr. Woolsey is a marine biologist, National Geographic Explorer, XR Creator, Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and Chief Scientist & CEO of The Hydrous, a 501c3 non-profit on a mission to create “open access oceans” so that all people may explore, understand, and engage with marine environments, which are severely threatened by climate change and human impacts.

“I’m humbled and inspired by all the creative and diverse solutions proposed in this competition, and proud to be associated with such powerful leaders and voices harnessing XR in our fight against climate change,” noted Dace Campbell, XR Prize Challenge Competition Manager.

The challenge

Climate change is one of the most urgent and long-term threats to life as we know it, and deserves our attention as a species, as professionals, and as technology experts. While the causes and effects of climate change are understood intellectually, they are difficult to grasp viscerally or emotionally because they seem so disconnected from our daily lives and behaviors. One of the biggest challenges in raising awareness of the impacts of climate change is that it is hard to fight a threat you can’t see.

Additionally, while there are communities and communication platforms for those who wish to address climate change, these forums are often not as powerful as immersive solutions for educating people through direct and personal experience. Climate change subject matter experts and entrepreneurs struggle to inspire people and policy-makers to take action. Finally, engineers and other professionals need spatially immersive tools to help improve and optimize design and execution for solutions to fight climate change.

AWE offers an endless stream of online webinars and local meetups in 30+ cities around the world at, as well as:

● High-quality educational classes and workshops with the best instructors from the XR community – for the XR community

● Free access to the largest collection of free videos of talks and webinars in AR & VR

● The XR industry’s most prestigious and long-standing awards competition – The Auggie Awards.

AWE (Augmented World Expo) is the world’s leading AR+VR conference and expo with events in the USA, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. AWE events consistently bring together a mix of CEOs, CTOs, designers, developers, creative agencies, futurists, analysts, investors and top press in a unique opportunity to learn, inspire, partner and experience firsthand one of the most exciting industries of our times.


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