Building Responsible, Safe, and Inclusive Extended Reality Ecosystems (the Metaverse)

RESEARCH PDF 1 MB

XRSI Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration

The United States is facing the unprecedented challenge of building responsible, safe, and inclusive XR and Metaverse related Information and Communication Technology ecosystems.

We need pragmatic policy decisions and governance frameworks that help build responsibility, safety, and inclusion for new and emerging fields of XR technologies (an umbrella term for AR/VR/MR). With the pandemic catalyzing and fueling the growth and adoption of these technologies, we need to pause and reflect: if we are going to extend realities via the immersive domain of XR, what kind of world will we wish to create?

Lawmakers must proactively address the issue of privacy and data protection while enabling responsible research and innovation. This area is particularly relevant today as our dependency on smart technologies grows, and we embrace immersive and emerging technologies to build the future.

Virtual Worlds, Real Risks and Challenges

RESEARCH

1st XR Data Classification Roundtable Report
XR Safety Week 2021 – December 10th, 2021

Today, most people understand that internet technologies generate data with each click, like, and share. Humans have relied on data collection and sharing to record and propagate historical facts, ideas, and opinions across timelines. In the past few decades, the creation, processing, and sharing of data have become so common that most people have stopped paying attention to the amount of data they give away every day.

People relinquish their data without realizing the risks or consequences. While this is not new, the difference today is we are moving towards an era of constant reality capture, especially with the increased adoption of immersive technologies and a strong push to build the next iteration of the Internet, also known as the Metaverse.

Immersive technologies, including Extended Reality (XR) and Internet of Things (IoT), bring a new set of privacy, cybersecurity, and safety concerns, at a time when we have not fully addressed the challenges of the Internet era. XR technologies currently being used to create virtual worlds introduce real-world risks to humans, amplified as we evolve towards the Metaverse. Kavya Pearlman, founder and CEO of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), recognized the coming wave of technology challenges in 2018 and started research into the massive data collection associated with virtual worlds and the real risks that come with them. Most privacy laws and data protection principles of our times are going to be inadequate because they do not fully address the risks related to the processing of XR data, giving way to undermining human rights.

(more…)

The growing value of XR in Healthcare in the United Kingdom

RESEARCH

The Growing Value of XR in Healthcare report has been created in response to the pressing need to have access to more accurate and representative intelligence and market data to help inform emerging strategies and priorities within the public and private sector in the UK.

XR refers to Extended Reality and covers Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR), haptics, interfaces, platforms and software and will often be referred to as immersive technologies within the context of this report. The healthcare sector referred to covers health and social care in public and private services, in clinical and non-clinical settings.

The report has been developed in partnership with NHSX, Health Education England Technology Enhanced Learning Team, UKRI Audience of the Future Challenge,  NIHR Mental Health Medtech Cooperative (MindTech) and Rescape. It has been supported by the Sheffield Hallam University Impact VR Research lab and the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) whose collective support has been critical in making this report happen. The report was also supported by a business donation from Pfizer Limited.  The report findings will help government and public health services make informed decisions about future strategies to ensure the UK is in the best position to fully exploit the potential of XR in healthcare today and ultimately improve patient outcomes and the quality of people’s lives into the future.

An Imperative – Developing Standards for Safety and Security in XR Environments

RESEARCH

In partnership with emteq labs

Whilst virtual reality technologies have been available for decades, we are now in a period of rapid growth in virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies, collectively known as XR.

The acceleration in XR availability and adoption can be attributed to many factors, principally, a reduction in hardware cost, increases the availability of high-speed high-quality connectivity, and most recently, shifts in society brought on by the global pandemic.

As with all emerging technologies, the confluence of new economic and societal norms with new techniques and capabilities gives rise to new opportunities, challenges, and entirely new paradigms.

This paper is based on discussions held during a roundtable conversation between members of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) panel, in partnership with emteq labs. The paper examines the opportunities and perils of XR technology and what should be done from a safety and security point of view to maximise the potential for good, whilst mitigating opportunities for harm.

(more…)

EXTEND REALITY WITH AWARENESS! XR Safety and Privacy Guide for Artists

STANDARDS

This guide serves all of the artist and media communities. However, it zooms in on the subject of privacy and security for Individual creators, creative collaborators, and artistic developers. No matter which role you play, this guide can be used to ensure the key privacy and security considerations are taken into account during the design of XR products and experiences. Early adoption of these practices will help limit potential cybersecurity and privacy threats.

Taking privacy and security into consideration might not be a part of the natural creative process. However, it is essential to pay attention to these aspects when designing and developing. These proactive actions protect the artists themselves and the audience that may potentially interact with the art or enter into the same thought space as the one intended by the artist. Today’s artists and developers are setting a precedent that will be followed by generations. Therefore we must get it right to create a safe and trustworthy ecosystem.

More information on https://www.artizen.fund/grant/xr-safety-grant

Captain Cuttle and The Quest for Virtual Safety!

RESEARCH
Hiya! I’m Captain Cuttle. Come along with me on an adventure into brave new realities!

On this adventure into Virtual Worlds together we will go on a  Quest for Safety for all explorers. Together we will make sure everyone, even your friends and family, read the Explorer Notes so we can all play safe.

(more…)

VR Safety Tips for Parents: Top 7 XRSI Recommendations

RESEARCH

Important SAFETY TIPS Parents NEED TO KNOW about VIRTUAL REALITY

With the Holiday season around the corner, there are going to be a lot of kids with new Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. One of the most common uses of VR is gaming because it gives players an incredibly immersive experience. VR can be a fantastic medium for education, letting adults and children alike feel immersed in the subjects they’re exploring, whether that’s a historic city or human anatomy.

If you are a parent, a teacher, or a guardian, you may be confused about whether VR is safe for children. There are several ways for you to enable safe exploration of VR technology, with a key understanding in mind: It is your responsibility to guide your kids to facilitate safe, responsible, and healthy relationships with VR. With an objective to help facilitate safe exploration of VR for kids, XRSI has put together Top 7 Safety Tips for parents.

(more…)

The XRSI Privacy and Safety Framework

FRAMEWORK RESEARCH

XR Industry is moving fast, so is the urgency to create standards, guidelines, and awareness for XR stakeholders. Recent news about data, privacy, and safety concerns are growing as technological advancements take place. To address this urgent XRSI is releasing a novel Privacy and Safety framework version 1.0.

The framework is a free, globally accessible baseline rulebook built by bringing together a diverse set of experts from various backgrounds and domains, including privacy and cybersecurity, cloud computing, immersive technologies, artificial intelligence, legal, artists, product design, engineering, and many more. 

(more…)

The promise of immersive healthcare

RESEARCH
How the UK can reap the benefits of the latest healthcare innovations that use immersive technology.

Immersive technology has provided new and enhanced healthcare solutions and treatments over recent decades. As the technology matures, there are great expectations of its potential to further promote the advancement of medicine through a wide range of new and enhanced devices and treatments.

With that said, innovators and researchers at the cutting edge of this novel field face structural, financial, and regulatory challenges as they seek to achieve medical benefits. The conference concluded that action is needed to address these issues and release the potential of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to help provide enhanced healthcare services. Participants proposed a range of measures that would help to address problems in the field, which form the basis for the recommendations of this report.

This Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) insight, introduces immersive healthcare technology in the UK and has been written for all those academic, industry and policy stakeholders that are interested in the subject of immersive healthcare.
Immersive healthcare continues to advance but there are still many challenges and concerns that need to be addressed.
This IET document seeks to provide insight into key issues, views and recommendations given at the Think Big: Future Health and Life Sciences Unconference, jointly hosted by the IET, Immerse UK and Hatsumi VR in November 2019. It contains a summary of key recommendations from participants, data and ethical challenges and case studies.

The author of the report is Liz Heron. This document was reviewed by the members of the IET’s Healthcare Sector and immersive healthcare technology participants in the Think Big: Future Health and Life Science Unconference: Andreea Ion Cojocaru (Numena), Charles Lowe (Digital Health and Care Alliance), Chris Lowthorpe (InGame), David Calder (KTN), Fiona Kilkelly (Immerse UK), Gabriela Juarez Martinez (KTN), Georgie Weston (Aquarius Population Health), Glenn Hapgood (ReScape), Ivan Phelan (Sheffield Hallam University), Jessica LaCombe (Tiny Victories), Kate Parkinson (Also Known As), Kavya Pearlman (XR Safety Initiative), Neil Mortimer (WMAHSN), Niki Smit (Deep/Monobanda), Nury Moreira (IET), Rebecca Farmer (Severn Hospice), Ria Carline (Greener Games), Rosie Collins (The Fred Company), Ross O’Brien (Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust), Sarah Ticho (Hatsumi), Tony Langford (Mindfulness Centre of Excellence)

The XRSI Definitions of Extended Reality (XR)

STANDARDS PDF 4.8 MB

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…)