Immersive Technology and Infrastructure: Building America’s Future
Immersive technology will play a vital role in America’s drive to Build Back Better, and it will undergird much of our advanced physical and digital infrastructure. Over the course of the next decade, the physical and digital worlds will merge at an unprecedented scale. If we are to “future proof” our infrastructure we must embrace immersive technologies today.
As the World Economic Forum has recognized, we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution – one in which a range of new technologies will fuse the physical and digital worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies, and industries. As Congress endeavors to find efficient and economical ways to bring America’s infrastructure into the 21st century, immersive technology must be a factor.
With America’s future in mind, we encourage Congress to include immersive technology in its infrastructure legislation in the following ways, among others:
- AEC Feasibility Study: With roughly 98% of construction projects incurring cost overruns, there should be a federally mandated feasibility study of the use of immersive technology to provide cost-savings in federal infrastructure initiatives.
- Research and Development Grants: If the U.S. is to lead the way in immersive technology, Congress should prioritize American innovation in this space as it allocates funding for 21st century infrastructure.
- Workforce Training and Retraining Programs: Congress should include training in virtual reality and augmented reality to prepare new employees and reskill experienced veteran workers.
- Safety Training Programs: Congress should fund virtual reality safety training programs as part of its overall effort to ensure worker safety as America begins to Build Back Better.
- Infrastructure Projects: Congress should incentivize the use of immersive technology in the many projects that will contribute to America’s 21st century infrastructure. This investment will result in tremendous efficiencies and improved results.
- Broadband Infrastructure: 5G will democratize the use of XR technology, ensuring that Americans from the inner cities to rural farmland are able to work together and capitalize on Americans’ vast ingenuity. Congress must expand broadband access to all communities.