WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, February 8th, the XR Association hosted “XRA Demo on the Hill,” an exclusive demonstration event for Members of Congress and their staff. The event provided a unique opportunity for attendees to try out XR devices, software, and experiences from XRA member companies, including Accenture, Big Rock Creative, Google, HTC, Meta, MyndVR, Cleanbox, Elm Park Labs, Oberon Technologies, PIXO VR, Taqtile, Transfr, and Qualcomm.
“We’re thrilled to have welcomed staff, lawmakers, and other interested stakeholders to our first XR demonstration on Capitol Hill,” said Liz Hyman, CEO of the XR Association. “We have to meet people where they’re at, including our policymakers, in order to encourage responsible policies and support for immersive technologies.”
Hands-on demonstrations by industry-leading companies allowed the event’s 100+ attendees to experience how XR technology is already being used for career and skills training, education, and healthcare, as well as gaming and entertainment.
“In order for lawmakers to truly understand the limitless potential of XR, they need to experience the technology for themselves,” said Joan O’Hara, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at XRA. “Events like this one provide that opportunity, and help us strengthen support for the technology among congressional leaders.”
Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) of the Congressional Caucus on Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Technology attended the event. Representatives Greg Landsman (D-OH), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE At-large) and Deborah Ross (D-NC) also took part in XR demonstrations. The event hosted dozens of other bipartisan congressional staff members from over 55 House offices.
Representative Suzan DelBene offered opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of educating members of Congress about immersive technologies, supporting XRA’s efforts in pushing for new research and development funding for XR.
“Part of our job [as members of the Reality Caucus] is to educate lawmakers on these technologies,” said Representative DelBene. “To help them understand not just one piece that they might have experienced but the whole breadth of technology, the different sectors that are impacted, the ongoing innovation and how quickly that’s happening so that they are keeping that in mind, and we have policy that reflects what’s actually happening in our world today and where we’re headed.”
ABOUT THE XR ASSOCIATION
The XR Association promotes the dynamic global growth of the XR industry, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed-reality, and future immersive technology. 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 our members and the greater XR industry.
The XR Association represents the broad ecosystem of the XR industry, including headset manufacturers, technology platforms, component and peripheral companies, internet infrastructure companies, enterprise solution providers, and corporate end-users. The founders of XRA are Google, HTC Vive, Microsoft, Meta (formerly Oculus from Facebook), and Sony Interactive Entertainment. To learn more about XRA membership, visit xra.org/joinus.