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REWILD recognised with two Webby Awards for Augmented Reality

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
20 May 2020

REWILD Our Planet, a creative collaboration involving Arup’s digital buildings and acoustics teams, has won two prestigious Webby Awards.

It impressed the judges and was named the Webby Winner for Best Use of Augmented Reality 2020 and received the People’s Choice Award in the same category. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for excellence on the internet.

REWILD is a multi-sensory, multi-player AR experience developed by Australian immersive technology studio PHORIA, Google, WWF and Arup based on a Netflix original documentary, Our Planet.

The world’s ‘first persistent and shared augmented reality experience’, it was created to highlight the causes and challenges of climate change and encourage action. Its realistic 3D ecosystems (biomes) emphasise the beauty of the natural word and the role humans could play in reversing the loss of landscape and wildlife if they work together.

As a whole, this project and the partners within it personified these same values and visions to help us build a better world. The awards are a true sign that these innovative immersive technologies can, and should be, used as a tool for good. ”

Trent Clews-de-Castella headshot Trent Clews-de Castella PHORIA, CEO

“As a social AR experience, REWILD demonstrated the power of technology to bring people together, communicate the impact we are having on the planet and highlight pathways forward for us to reverse the loss of nature,” he said.

Trent reflected on the evidence of nature rewilding as human activity has been restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is no easy fix, but this is an opportunity to think about how our daily activities impact the environment. It’s a time to recognise just how powerful collective action can be, and that we have an incredible medium for change right at our fingertips - technology. REWILD can be a vehicle for global engagement, empowerment and uplift.”

The Arup team was proud to be part of producing something truly extraordinary, in alignment with our aspiration to ‘shape a better world’. ”

Sean McGinn Sean McGinn Buildings Digital Leader, Australasia

The REWILD Our Planet exhibitions in Singapore, New York and Bristol last year were attended by more than 30,000 people. They were able to trigger their own content and actions to change the planetary impacts. Using hand-held Google Pixel 3 smartphones, participants could see the biomes recover from desolate places to balanced ecosystems (through PHORIA’s AR powered digital twin platform CAPTUR3D), and the potential to ‘rewild’ our planet. Arup created soundscapes to enhance the sensory experience and digitally designed the viewing platform.