Insights EDU

Creating Accessibility: Democratizing Access to XR

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Mitchell Bayer-Goldman | Co-Founder | Volta XR

01 Jul 2022 | 2 min read

The eighth episode of our Insights Live series featured Alex Kane from Volta XR Denise E. White from _BLANK XR and Sebastian Veldman from Accenture. The discussion was moderated by Mitchell Bayer-Goldman also from Volta XR.

Despite much press focus on the metaverse there are still challenges consumers and organizations face when adopting immersive technologies. 

Our panelists focused on how we can democratize access to XR, and discussed what the implications of increased public access to immersive media would be.

Check out what they had to say in the highlights below.

The Key Highlights

What do we mean by democratizing access to XR? 

 

 

  • Leveraging the technology people already own. Like the cameras on our smartphones.
  • We live in a landscape of devices that allow us to engage in virtual content.
  • Making XR more accessible to ensure the wider world can experience it.  
  • Progress is slow, there is a mass adoption curve. 
  • Moving above the AR experiences most people interact with to greater opportunities in the metaverse.  
  • The industry can look to incorporate XR into physical spaces we already interact with. Creating everyday experiences outside of our devices. 

 

What are the key barriers to democratizing XR?

 

 

  • The tools involved in development are complex and have a steep learning curve.
  • It is hardware dependent. You need devices to work with but in the wider context, the hardware issue is overblown.  
  • Placing tools into the hands of everyone. This will allow people to be more creative and artistic, hence inspiring wider use. 
  • Tools need to become easier to use, and more accessible. This will improve adoption. 
  • Education is vital, bigger platforms are elevating user comfort by introducing basic forms of XR like Snapchat filters.
  • Soft skills training can lower the technological barriers to allow people to be more comfortable. 

 

How do we make XR accessible?

 

 

  • The XR spectrum is so wide. Different senses can be applied to different aspects of our devices which can maximise the audience.
  • VR for instance can be used with sight, and with the inclusion of a microphone voice can be used. 
  • It is about understanding how to include everyone within a potential audience.
  • We should introduce new features and enhance existing features to enable a wider audience. For instance captions. Train users with the introduction of contextual explanations that ensure users are led effectively.
  • In a business sense, It all starts with a monetisation model that values the end-user.
  • Empower users and developers by giving them the opportunity to monetize their products or creative endeavours. 
  • It is also worth investigating haptics, making things a little more tactile and immersive. It all adds to the real-ness of XR. 

 

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