This year’s second stage of AV Awards judging is to take place in the metaverse, in an AV Awards themed virtual experience centre.
Judges and shortlisted entrants will be able to deliver and review presentations as customised avatars of themselves in the bespoke immersive environment.
Mesh for Microsoft Teams has been selected as the awards’ default mixed reality platform, with technical support for meeting participants provided by AV Magazine’s Workplace IT team.
The mixed reality overlay will not just enable collaboration but also support interaction with persistent 3D content provided by shortlisted entrants.
Judges and shortlisted entrants may access second-stage judging meetings via mixed reality glasses and supported VR headsets, such as Microsoft Hololens and the Oculus Quest 2.
In addition, it will also be possible to join from a smartphone or laptop and collaborate using Microsoft tools in the shared holographic space.
By agreement with the moderator of the judging panel, judges and shortlisted entrants who prefer the simplicity and ease of use of Zoom may elect to use an AV Awards Horizon Workroom on Oculus Quest 2 via its integration with Zoom Meetings.
Officially still in beta, but tested by AV Magazine in partnership with the Zoom team at a leading distributor, this integration will allow presenters to sketch out key features of their awards entry and allow the judging panel to compare notes via Zoom Whiteboard functionality. A new Zoom Meetings Avatar function is also expected to provide an element of fun in the otherwise serious process of judging award entries.
The AV Awards virtual environments in Mesh for Teams and Horizon Workrooms were designed by consultancy Gravatar Events in partnership with the Emap Publishing event development team, which will be running a separate Tech Day to identify cutting-edge technology that can be showcased at this year’s AV Awards.
Clive Couldwell, Group Editor of AV Magazine, commented: “The AV Awards celebrates the very best of the AV industry. It champions innovation and talent and outstanding engineering that delivers real value for end users. As we look to a future in which collaboration will blend virtual and physical elements, the AV Awards is leading the way in harnessing mixed reality collaboration for its judging.”
He added: “We couldn’t have done this without the support of Gravatar Events, its founder Alf Pirolo, and the Emap Publishing event development team. I would also like to thank the independent end users and consultants taking part in our judging panel who have made the AV Awards the most popular and respected awards event in our industry, and the many outstanding companies and individuals who have entered the awards to date.”
Entries are now open for the AV Awards with an early-bird deadline of 24 April. To review the categories and enter, visit the AV Awards website HERE.