Association also hosted its first, post-pandemic All-Member Meeting
Monday, June 6, 2022 – Last week, XRA CEO Liz Hyman addressed the Augmented World Expo (AWE) conference in its opening session. In her keynote remarks, “The Tech Heard ‘Round the World: Embracing the Future of XR,” she discussed the need for XR industry members to take an active role in educating policymakers and other stakeholders about the potential of immersive technologies. Hyman’s speech also included recorded messages from U.S. Congresswoman Suzan Delbene (WA-01), John McNulty, Director of Alphabet Core Engineering Solutions, Google, and Kristina Francis, Executive Director, JFF Labs.
During her speech, Hyman issued a call to action to the audience members to send a letter to their member of Congress encouraging them to join the U.S. House of Representative’s “Reality Caucus.” This group was founded in 2017 to help members of Congress learn more about XR, get hands-on experience with the technology, and hear from experts about public policy initiatives to support the industry’s growth.
On Day 2 of AWE, Stephanie Montgomery, XRA’s Vice President of Research & Best Practices, joined panelists Nirav Desai, CEO, Moonbeam, Dylan Fox, Coordination & Engagement Team Lead, XR Access, and Bill Curtis-Davidson, Co-Director, Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) on the panel, “Designing & Developing for DEI + Accessibility.” They discussed the inclusive design of AR and VR hardware, applications and content, so that everyone — including those who identify as people with disabilities — can access, enjoy and benefit from them.
On Day 3, XRA’s Joan O’Hara, Vice President of Public Policy, led a panel, “It Takes a Village to Build the Metaverse,” featuring panelists Geo Saba, Chief of Staff to Rep. Ro Khanna, U.S. House of Representatives, Carlos Gutierrez, Deputy Director and General Counsel, LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute, Michael Richards, Director of Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Joe Jerome, Policy Managers, Reality Labs. Panelists explored the ways in which the XR industry, civil society, academia, policymakers, and other stakeholders can work together to advance practical solutions for the greater good and ensure the responsible development of the metaverse.
Prior to the opening of the AWE conference, XRA hosted its All-Member Meeting, a members-only lunch and meeting. It featured presentations “Building the Metaverse for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses,” by Shawn Dubravac, President, Avrio Institute, and “Is History Repeating Itself? How Past Wave of Computing Can Inform What May Happen in This Next One (2022 edition),” by Tom Emrich, Director of Product Management, 8th Wall.
XRA member committees and working groups also met for discussions on interoperability, privacy, and health and safety. Guest speakers Jeff Homola, UTM Integration & Testing Lead, NASA, and Anna Queiroz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford, joined the health and safety conversation and shared their expertise.
AWE attendees stopped by XRA’s booth to take action and encourage their member of Congress to join the Reality Caucus, learn more about XRA membership, sign up for the XRAlert, and explore partnerships.
The XR Association promotes the dynamic global growth of the XR industry, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed-reality, and future immersive technologies. XRA is leading the way for the responsible development and adoption of XR by convening stakeholders, developing best practices and research, and advocating on behalf of its members and the greater XR industry. Learn more at www.xra.org/joinus.