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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Wol - a mixed reality experience

Entered in Extended Reality


Niantic is building global-scale augmented reality technology to power the next generation of computing experiences that connect people to the real world.

To reinforce Niantic’s mission, the company unveiled its first mixed reality experience dubbed Wol. The experience allows you to enter an AR portal where the walls and surfaces of your room are transformed into a redwood forest. There you can talk to an AI-enabled owl to learn about the forest and its ecosystem. The immersive experience is made even more realistic and magical with the addition of spatial audio and hand tracking that allows you to pet the owl. Try it here:

Accessed in the browser on the Meta Quest Pro or an iOS or Android smartphone, the experience showcases one of the 8th Wall platform’s most powerful features: Metaversal Deployment. Metaversal Deployment enables brands and developers to build a WebAR project once and deploy it everywhere — smartphones, computers, tablets, VR HMDs, and mixed reality devices like Meta Quest Pro. This gives brands and developers the widest reach possible for the content they have created to 5 billion smartphones, desktop computers, tablets, and both virtual and mixed reality headsets. 

Additionally, Wol highlights the 8th Wall platform’s readiness to leverage generative AI to enhance AR experiences. Niantic recently introduced GenAI Modules for Inworld and OpenAI, providing a hassle-free way for developers of all skill levels to build WebAR experiences with GenAI. 

Strategy and Execution

Niantic created Wol in partnership with Liquid City, a design practice specializing in XR and AI, with a focus on shaping a positive future for technology in society. The team developed Wol using the 8th Wall Cloud Editor, a cloud-based IDE which is built from the ground up for WebAR development and offers all the tools needed for teams to create, collaborate and publish immersive experiences across devices. 

In addition, Wol was created using Inworld AI, the developer platform for AI characters. The Inworld Engine is composed of several machine learning and character AI models that are designed to mimic human gestures, speech, safety, emotion, and memory. Inworld’s technology has been integrated with 8th Wall to power Wol’s distinct personality and contextual awareness within the experience.

Endorsements for Wol: 


The combination of mixed reality, GenAI and 8th Wall’s Metaversal Deployment makes Wol a first-of-its-kind for the browser. Through Wol, Niantic has demonstrated a whole new level of creativity for brands and developers to leverage. Niantic will continue releasing first-of-its-kind and innovative tools for developing immersive AR experiences for everyone to enjoy.

“The web is a powerful place for augmented reality and we are excited to highlight how the 8th Wall platform can be used to create browser-based content that works across devices including smartphones and mixed reality headsets,” says Tom Emrich, Director of Product Management at Niantic. “We created Wol to inspire developers to build their own WebAR content that makes use of the truly immersive capabilities of mixed reality passthrough while benefiting from the massive reach and scale of mobile. We can’t wait to see what they create!”

With its innovative and first-of-its-kind technology, Niantic enables brands and developers to create AR experiences that transform how people experience the world around them, delivering unique, immersive, and valuable experiences to consumers anywhere. There are endless possibilities for real-world AR experiences, spanning museums, sporting events, musical festivals, retail, education, and beyond.


Video for Wol - a mixed reality experience

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Niantic, Inc.