Augmented reality (AR) company Ario scooped a $1 million bounty Verizon offered for innovative 5G applications, beating more than 550 competitors with its design for a workplace productivity platform.

A VR platform from GAROU enabling multi-user interactions bagged a $500,000 second place prize, while $250,000 was awarded to third place finisher LexSet for a solution which produces synthetic image data to train AI models.

In a statement, Verizon chief development officer Nicola Palmer hailed the designs as “really ground-breaking solutions”.

The operator originally launched its Built for 5G Challenge at CES 2019, calling for innovative applications to showcase the transformational potential of 5G. Concepts submitted to the contest were judged on their ability to increase business efficiency, improve immersive experiences, or solve other challenging customer problems.

All three companies will spend two-months at Verizon’s 5G Labs, where they can work with specialists to develop their concepts using the operator’s mmWave 5G network.

“By bringing these companies into our 5G Labs, where we collaborate with universities, start-ups and enterprises to co-create 5G concepts, we’re giving them access to all the tools they need to create truly transformational experiences that will reshape entire industries”, Palmer explained.