Immersive Technology Standards
The XR domain needs a new mindset. As we examine this concept collectively, we learn the magnitude of the potential impact on humanity’s well-being. Furthermore, when we introduce the exponential global aspect of immersive technology and the effect of the recent catalyzing events, we sense the urgency to create a baseline for designing and developing these ecosystems.
The Immersive Technology Standards for Accessibility, Inclusion, Ethics, and Safety is written for a time such as this, with the intent to serve as the blueprint for all that have a stake in the vastly evolving and emerging XR ecosystem. Now is the time to lay down the foundation on which these new ecosystems provide more equitable opportunities and inclusive advancement for all.
Immersive Technology Standards – Diversity and Inclusion
We are at a crossroads between emerging technologies, data sciences, and cybersecurity — fueled by the renewed, global necessity of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in each domain.
Technology jobs are still facing high levels of gender and ethnicity inequality, and with the rise of Artificial Intelligence-based solutions, the gender and ethnicity exclusion issue is becoming more relevant. The overrepresentation of white men in the design of these technologies could undo decades of advances in gender and racial equality.
Emerging technologies are not going to solve the issue if we’re not going to change the input: If that data carries stereotypical concepts, the resulting application of the technology will perpetuate this bias. The models and systems we create and train are a reflection of ourselves.
Immersive Technology Standards – Ethics and Awareness
The emerging digital technologies, from artificial intelligence to ingestible sensors, create various ethical challenges, which need to be considered by all stakeholders, including the scientists and engineers involved in their development.
What changes will the emerging technologies have on our minds and bodies? What effects will they have on our relationships with each other, our interaction with machines, and the state of the environment? Shaping the future for the best possible outcome is why defining digital ethics is an imperative for us today, and the challenge must be faced by building an aware and prepared industry and society.
It is wrong to rely on the caution and awareness of the single company or developer, and that is why we need to have ethical guidelines. Having a Universal XR standard covering the ethical field offers the unique opportunity to create an ethical filter in the digital transformation process for everyone and every organization involved in the process. Building ethical cultures in the emerging domains is stronger, and more durable, than regulation alone.
Immersive Technology Standards – Trust and Safety
The mass adoption of immersive technologies is changing our lives, offering new opportunities, and posing new threats. The large amount of data we deal with, and the expanding attack surface, require us to build trust to a new degree, beyond the traditional concepts of privacy and security. We need a new mindset that incorporates all dimensions of the attack surface, whether it is hygiene for sharing headsets, preventing dizziness and fall due to motion sickness, or minimizing abuse of data and privacy. XR requires us to understand the associated risks in terms of safety, which incorporates privacy and security but also takes into account physical and psychological harm.
Access to XR experiences is progressively becoming more attainable and cost-effective, and some immersive experiences can be as realistic as the “real” world experience. That’s why we need to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, by creating standards that encourage preventive design, solutions, resources, and tools. The abuse or misuse of XR technologies can cause risks and effects on a physical, emotional, developmental, and material level. The rapid adoption of XR, without appropriate standards, research, and guidelines is particularly problematic for children as their brains are not fully developed. Take for instance, the fact that the industry has not yet established the appropriate age for children to be exposed to virtual reality, nor for how long they should experience a particular platform or virtual environment. Children’s safety online has suddenly become more urgent and we need to ensure a special focus is being given to protect children from harm, as they get exposed to XR.
Privacy and security also remain critical to the mission of creating trust. XR technologies have the potential to record all new kinds of user information, from eye movements and emotions to the movement of a user’s entire body through space, so the data must be managed responsibly.
When we talk about “data” in XR, we’re talking about an ocean full of information on any given object, place, or individual. Consumer VR systems typically track body movements 90 times per second to display the scene appropriately, and high-end consumer systems record 18 types of movements across the head and hands. Consequently, spending 20 minutes in a VR simulation leaves just under 2 million unique recordings of body language. Given the enormous amount of data collection and blurred lines of accountability, privacy and data protection has become more complex than ever, and clarity around data ownership, usage, and meaningful consent is more urgent.
XR technologies broaden the range of ways in which a person’s identity, as well as public and private assets, can be at risk. The attack surface has expanded, and with the rise of data breaches and hacking, security is at stake, to the point that XR is considered one of the top 10 privacy risks to watch in 2020 by members of the Future of Privacy Forum.
Immersive Technology Standards – Taxonomy
Naming things appropriately is the first step in understanding them, and then explaining them.
Every major shift in any emerging industry requires establishing baseline standards to move to new andbmore advanced levels of development.
The industries must be able to speak with one voice, possibly the same as regulators, institutions, and researchers. This is one of the reasons why these new worlds need their rulesets, standards, and codes of conduct.
The XRSI Definitions of Extended Reality (XR)
XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) releases the first set of standard definitions and taxonomies for the immersive technologies and related domains. The document sets the common baseline for a shared vocabulary in the industry, marking the first step in the creation of a full Data Classification Framework, therefore, is not to be considered complete. Additional taxonomies and new publications are to be added continually.(more…)