Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center and the XR Association today launched a new initiative that will study the challenges and opportunities of immersive technologies, such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. These technologies fall under the umbrella term XR. The initiative is designed to inform policymakers on these immersive technologies in order to advance their applications while addressing many of the challenges associated with the technology, such as privacy, security, and ethical concerns.
Immersive technologies are already being adopted and implemented throughout society, utilized by retailers to train workers, doctors to practice surgery, and manufacturers to create virtual prototypes of new products. As virtual, augmented, and mixed reality continue to develop and mature, their use in areas such as health care, education, public safety, and manufacturing also expands. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that immersive technology has the potential to boost global GDP up to $1.5 trillion by 2030. The initiative will engage leaders with diverse perspectives from civil society, academia, industry, and other stakeholders to explore the policy issues as well as the benefits and concerns of this new technology.
“The influence of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality on our society is both promising and hard to predict,” said BPC President Jason Grumet. “Technology is advancing at a rate that is much faster than public policy—particularly in a divisive political environment. The Bipartisan Policy Center is excited to join with the XR Association to explore the issues policymakers will need to consider as these technologies evolve.”
“The XR Association is excited to partner with BPC to convene this important effort,” said XR Association Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Hyman. “XR is the tech platform of the future and that future is approaching quickly. How we communicate, collaborate, learn, and provide essential human services is changing as digitization generally and immersive technology in particular takes flight. Now is the time to imagine the future and prepare for the ways in which that future improves people’s lives and impacts our society.”
Over the next year, the BPC-XRA initiative will seek to educate stakeholders and decision makers about the potential these technologies have to transform how students are educated, workers are trained, and products are developed while identifying any risks policymakers may need to address.