A media-first voice skill created for the Queensland Eye Institute Foundation’s (QEIF) world-first art exhibition Last Seen has been recognised in the ‘Apps, Mobile and Voice’ category of this year’s prestigious Webby Awards.

As a Webby nominee, the skill has been recognised as one of the five best in the world in its category. The international Webby Awards recognise excellence on the internet and members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) select the nominees for the awards.

The Webby Awards received almost 13,000 entries from 70 countries worldwide and fewer than 10% were selected as nominees. 

The Last Seen exhibition skill was concepted and developed collaboratively by The Studio at SCA, voice software experts Alkira and Publicis Worldwide, and was designed to enhance the experience for visitors to the Last Seen exhibition – a fundraising initiative for QEIF.

Last Seen paired Australians who have been impacted by blindness or vision impairment with artists to create paintings of their last significant memory before their vision started to deteriorate. The voice skill housed unique soundscapes that accompanied each painting. Those soundscapes re-created this poignant memory, bringing the paintings to life in sound.

During the exhibition, attendees could use the skill to listen to these soundscapes on their phones while looking at the painting, hear detailed stories behind the artworks, learn more about the artists and find more information on the QEIF, making the experience far more immersive and impactful.

The Studio at SCA National Head of Creativity, Matt Dickson, said: “We are so excited to achieve nomination status for the famous Webby Awards. As humankind’s oldest form of communication, voice is such an intuitive and immersive way to tell stories. It’s been great to pair this with new tech in the form of a smart speaker skill. For brands, voice is the next frontier and it’s been fantastic to work with QEIF and Alkira to create a groundbreaking, audio experience.”

Head of The Studio at SCA Brisbane, Jeanna Manifold, said: “The creative concept developed by Publicis immediately brought to mind audio’s ability to create an intimate and immersive experience which could truly honour the stories behind each painting. It’s been a pleasure to work with QEIF and the team at Publicis to create a unique campaign and a suite of assets which sits across all of SCA’s audio platforms.”

While the exhibition has completed, the skill is still live. To hear the skill in action, just say: “Ok Google, talk to Last Seen exhibition” on any Google Assistant enabled device. The exhibition can also be viewed at https://lastseen.com.au/

The Webby Award winners will be announced on 19 May 2020 online.