ARPost has covered awareness months before as the XR industry turns its many many lenses on important issues like emotional health. However, November may become “National XR Month,” thanks to an initiative by the Reality Caucus and the XR Association.
National XR Month, You Say?
Late last month, Reality Caucus member, Representative Darrell Issa, proposed that November be recognized as “National XR Month.” The designation would, according to the as-yet-unpassed resolution, recognize “the positive economic and cultural impact of XR in the United States” and “promote the development of this important emerging technology.”
In order for the awareness month to become an official event, Issa’s proposal still has a few regulatory hoops to jump through. But, something doesn’t need to be printed in the Farmer’s Almanac to be a national holiday. The XRA has already committed to celebrating National XR Month whether the President rubber-stamps it or not.
“National XR Month creates a new, annual special opportunity to raise awareness about immersive technologies and the important role they play,” XRA CEO Elizabeth Hyman said in a release. “Countless innovators, creatives, and entrepreneurs are helping to build this next major computing platform, making XR critical to our future.”
This level of awareness would naturally include the kind of people that are already watching the XRA and the Reality Caucus, as well as the ever-broadening ring of casual XR users. It would also help to keep immersive tech front and center in the eyes of regulators.
“Ultimately, legislation recognizing the importance of XR technology helps build support for the industry among policymakers,” XRA Senior Vice President of Public Policy Joan O’Hara said in the release.
A Major Public Opportunity
The Reality Caucus and the XRA are all about education. Though, they usually have fairly specific intended audiences.
The Reality Caucus is a bipartisan group of US representatives who typically focus on educating other policymakers about immersive technology as it relates to competition and security. On the other hand, the XRA is a professional organization promoting the responsible advancement of XR by working directly between manufacturers and developers.
That’s not to say that these organizations aren’t public-facing. Every year that it has taken place, a member of the Reality Caucus has been a keynote speaker at the AR/VR Policy Conference co-hosted by the XRA and the Information Technology Innovation Foundation, which is free to attend or view online. The XRA also recently released a very accessible guide to XR tech.
However, a national month dedicated to XR would be possibly the most public-facing initiative undertaken by either of these organizations so far.
Submit Your XR Event
So far, no parades are scheduled for XR Month. If you do have an XR event, whether it’s planned for XR Month or not, let the XRA know about it. So far, the awareness month is a list of XR events taking place during the month curated by the XRA. The release linked above includes a form where you can recommend your event.