The Webby Awards have always, and always will be, a testing ground for innovative work. Born from an emergent digital environment, and now 26 years later, committed to celebrating the best of the internet, the Webby Awards have always had an intrinsic appreciation for outstanding storytelling enhanced by razor’s edge technical achievements.
For the 26th annual Webby Awards, the only thing that impresses us more than the rapid advancement of technical storytelling tools, is the jaw-dropping ways digital storytellers are using them to channel their inspiration and break the creative mold.
Read on to discover a sample of some of the most stand-out Webby nominees from our Best Technical Achievement categories across Websites, Video, Apps & Software, Virtual & Remote, and Games, and see the rest of this year’s nominees. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite projects in the Webby People’s Voice Awards before Thursday, April 21st!
Websites & Mobile Sites – Technical Achievement
Virtual Expo Dubai 2020 – Dogstudio
Capturing the spirit of innovation and futuristic wonder of previous World Expos, the remote experience of the Dubai 2020 Virtual Expo unites people from every corner of the earth at the intersection of art, culture, and technology. Vote for them here!
Fingerspelling with Machine Learning – Hello Monday
Learning a new language can be hard, especially without a tutor. While many popular apps can analyze voice prompts for pronunciation, what about non-verbal speech? Fingerspelling.xyz is a browser-based app that uses a webcam and machine learning to analyze hand shapes and teach users to sign with the ASL alphabet in a fun and engaging way. Vote for them here!
The Emotional Sound Experience – Hume AI
Hume’s mission is to ensure that artificial intelligence is built to improve human emotional well-being. The Emotional Sound Experience uses AI and machine learning to begin to understand everyday emotional expressions like sighs and other abstract vocalizations, and respond to them appropriately. Vote for them here!
MapMaker – National Geographic
A legacy brand like National Geographic has literally hundreds of years of historical information spanning the globe. As an educational tool, MapMaker allows anyone from educators to enthusiasts to compile historic data points from the weather to whatever and visualize them in cartographical space with ease. Vote for them here!
Timelapse in Google Earth – Ubilabs
Google Earth blew minds when it launched, allowing users to spin a virtual globe showing a near real time representation of practically any location on the planet. Now, with over 20 years of satellite imagery to call upon, Ubilabs developed aerial timelapse experiences to watch how our planet has evolved from critical ice cap erosion, to awe inspiring urban expansion. Vote for them here!
Video – Technical Achievement
Flip Your Vibe – BBC Creative
To launch two new music streams on the BBC Sounds app at once, BBC Creative invented an expressive way to flip between two vibes in one double sided experience. A technological first, Flip Your Vibe invites viewers to rotate their phone from portrait to landscape and switch between two separate, but complimentary story lines as a pair of twin sisters unite in a shared, but unique appreciation of dance and music. Vote for them here!
The Academic – Not Your Summer | A Google Slides Experience – BBDO
To launch indie rockers The Academic’s new single, BBDO set out to give their fans a one-of-a-kind experience from the safety of their homes by creating a collaborative, frame-by-frame live animated music video facilitated by Google Slides. Vote for them here!
Madison Beer Immersive Reality Concert – Sony Immersive Music Studios
Touting an uncanny future for virtual concerts, viral singer/songwriter Madison Beer held an immersive reality music experience exclusively on TikTok LIVE with an ultra-realistic digital avatar performing songs from her debut album, Life Support, in a dazzling, special effects filled showcase. Vote for them here!
Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out The News – Tooning Out the News
Presented as a prestigious newsmagazine series, Tooning Out The News presents a stable of highly respected, soon-to-be-disgraced animated hosts as they sit across from real newsmakers in a real studio for intimate one-on-one interviews peppered with irreverent, sardonic quips. Vote for them here!
Unfolding Timbaland – Verizon
Partnering with Verizon, hitmaker Timbaland used AI to create unique remixes of his new track for fans who engaged with promoted posts on Twitter. Pulling from public data from fans’ accounts, each remix got personal shoutouts from Timbaland, custom beats, and location-specific music videos. Vote for them here!
Apps and Software – Technical Achievement
Mojilink – denkwerk
It’s no secret social networks want to keep users on platform, and as a result it can be tricky to link out to more content. Even worse, certain societies restrict freedom of expression, making it hard for journalists, or anybody, to really be heard. Developed by denkwerk, Mojilinks is an app-enabled way to create clickable links with emojis that work anywhere you can past text. Vote for them here!
HBO Max Recommends – HBO
To solve the dreaded analysis paralysis often experienced by wannabe movie watchers faced with too many options, HBO developed a unique skill for touchscreen enabled Amazon Alexa devices that gives users suggestions from the HBO Max catalog, allowing them to “swipe” yes or no on each title in order to build a watchlist, which they can receive by text with links to stream. Vote for them here!
Snoop – Hi Mum! Said Dad
Using a combination of Open Banking data, artificial intelligence and human intelligence, Snoop is fundamentally changing the way people think about their money by delivering connected, helpful, hyper-personal experiences that genuinely help users extract useful insights from their transaction data to save themselves money. Vote for them here!
iHeart Soundscapes – iHeartMedia
A listening experience you’ll need to see to believe, Soundscapes from iHeartMedia not only curates the perfect playlist for any user, but as music app designed with smart TV’s in mind, it also creates the perfect visual compliment adding unique visuals to entertain the eyes as well as the ears. Vote for them here!
UEFA EURO 2020 official app: the most complete ever – UEFA
During a time when live sporting events were difficult to have, let alone attend, UEFA set out to create the best possible app experience for the EURO 2020 tournament offering comprehensive editorial coverage, multi-faceted spectator services, and native integration of complex games for people who enjoy football. Vote for them here!
Virtual & Remote – Technical Achievement
Teleport to any reality – Introducing Varjo Reality Cloud – 20/20 Helsinski
Promising photorealistic virtual teleportation, with the Varjo Reality Cloud and Varjo XR-3 technology, anybody anywhere will be able to capture their surroundings in 3D and then invite somebody else to join that same exact reality, see and hear others, and share their experience in absolute immersion. Vote for them here!
F-150 Lightning Reveal – Chrome Productions
Combining a real world car with an unreal location, Ford partnered with Chrome Productions to showcase the multifaceted capabilities of the F-150 Lightning without even starting the engine by shooting the next-gen vehicle in virtual environments created with gaming’s Unreal Engine. Vote for them here!
The Hydrous Presents: Expedition Palau Synchronized Virtual Dive – Meridian Treehouse
The Hydrous Virtual Dive Team celebrated World Oceans Week with a first-of-its-kind shared, synchronized immersive reality experience diving deep under the waters of Palau, coming face-to-face with incredible marine animals, and sharing the wonder of the underwater world with people across the globe, all in real-time. Vote for them here!
Mmhmm – mmhmm
Democratizing post-production has long been a goal of the video app industry, and now Mmhmm has made that possible by allowing users to create, edit, and share awesome video instantly, whether giving a presentation live on a video call or sharing a recording with the team with their easy-to-use, secure, and honestly pretty fun and accessible drag and drop platform. Vote for them here!
Night, Mother on Twitch – Night Mother on Twitch
Pushing the boundaries of traditional stage and screen storytelling, Night, Mother is a mixed media filmic experience– a hybrid project blending traditional, pre-filmed content with live performance. The film is set on a Zoom call and centers around concentric circles of grief, isolation and mental health issues appropriately backdropped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vote for them here!
Games – Technical Achievement
The Artful Escape – Annapurna Interactive
Known for their artistic, story-steeped approached to gaming, Annapurna Interactive’s The Artful Escape tells the story of a teenage guitar prodigy on the eve of his first performance, as he battles with the legacy of a dead folk legend and the cosmic wanderings of his own imagination in a psychedelic, inspirational, and multidimensional journey. Vote for them here!
Myst – Cyan Worlds, Inc.
Released three years before even the first Webby Awards, computer puzzle game Myst set a groundbreaking standard for immersive, interactive storytelling that inspired generations to come across multiple forms of media, not just gaming. Newly built in 2021 to play both in VR as well as traditional flatscreen displays, the updated re-release of Myst is teeming with new art, new sound, and re-imagined interactions to introduce this timeless classic to a new crop of inquisitive gamers. Vote for them here!
Lone Echo II – Meta
The critically acclaimed Lone Echo II brings a wide assortment of new tools and abilities to an immersive and compelling story for a sci-fi virtual reality gaming experience that’s out-of-this-world. Vote for them here!
Demeo – revolutionizing game night! – Resolution Games
In the RPG dungeon crawler Demeo, a dark force has taken over the underworld and it’s a world you’re not likely to survive alone. This unique spin on classic card games emulates the special thrill of gathering around a tabletop with friends to do battle against the forces of evil. Vote for them here!
Before Your Eyes – Skybound Games
Skybound Games’ Before Your EyesEmbark on an emotional first-person narrative adventure where you control the story—and affect its outcomes—with your real-life blinks. With this innovative technique you will fully immerse yourself in a world of memories, both joyous and heartbreaking, as your whole life flashes before your eyes. Vote for them here!
See the rest of the 26th Annual Webby Nominees across Virtual & Remote categories, and vote for your favorite projects to take home a Webby People’s Voice Award. Vote now through Thursday, April 21st at vote.webbyawards.com