Published on January 4th, 2021 | by Diogo Costa0
XRI partners with top law firm and diversity & inclusion experts
According to a survey by Gartner last year, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have the potential to shake up the consumer experience. Gartner experts predicted that, by the end of 2020, more than 100 million people would buy from online stores based on experiences through Augmented Reality.
It is still a bit too soon to say if those number were reached or not but, if we make a brief analysis of the market on the present day, immersive technologies have been gaining more and more strength in several sectors and bring new perspectives of experience accessibility.
This has converted these technologies into possible tools for companies seeking to promote their brands, products and services, to create an unprecedented and interactive environment capable of stimulating and involving their consumers – and all of this while also making inclusion efforts a priority.
Within this wave, a new initiative led by a global group of XR professionals, called XR Inclusion (XRI), is striving towards the creation of an inclusive and diverse immersive future. As the first step to do so, XRI is launching and easy-to-use kit directed at the VR & AR (XR) startup community.
Created with the partnership of the national labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips, and Rework Work, one of the foremost leaders on diversity and inclusion, this kit contains several useful information for startups to enhance their inclusion efforts, such as checklists, templates, practices, and training, focused on areas like job descriptions and hiring, unconscious bias, code of conduct, and more.
Speaking of bias, this is also an important concern for XRI who, to further track and get rid of it, has created the Annual XRI Survey & Report. This survey is used to collect anonymous data from industry professionals, being then complied and shared into a free and publicly available report that sheds light over the current state of diversity and inclusion in the XR industry.
Taylor Freeman, a founding council member of XRI, explains just how this initiative can be important:
“As a founder in XR, I wish I’d learned the things in this kit sooner. Our goal at XRI is to provide startups with resources and systems to support the development of inclusive, professional and safe cultures for both the employees and the company. These foundations should be essential and I believe investors should not even fund companies without ensuring they have these things in place.”
Armand Aguirre, media lead of XRI, strongly believes XR Inclusion will be important in steering the future of the industry concerning these issues:
“We need diverse voices in every industry, especially emerging industries like XR. I’m grateful for the chance to work with creators from all walks of life. Their empowering stories light the way for those thinking of entering the field. It’s exciting to hear their thoughts on topics like ethics, privacy, and data rights. Together, we will engage in conversations about mindful technology use while steering the industry into the future. Each creator has a unique perspective that can help the XR industry flourish. I look forward to speaking with the innovative creators of tomorrow to discuss the biggest issues facing the immersive tech industry of today.”
Such an initiative can definitely have a positive impact in any industry, so time will tell just how the XR industry can benefit from XRI’s initiative.