One positive outcome from a very divisive run up to this November’s US congressional mid-term elections was the bipartisanship demonstrated to help advance the nation’s XR industry. This September 28, the Congressional XR Caucus filed House Resolution (H.Res.) 1399 to designate November 2022 as National XR Month.
As background, a congressional caucus allows members of the US Congress to cast aside political affiliations and come together to help advance a certain industry or policy cause. For instance, readers of MS&T have followed the efforts of the Congressional Modeling and Simulation Caucus to advance M&S across high-risk sectors in the US government and industry.
In the case of XR, like-minded members of Congress established a caucus with “XR” being an umbrella term used to describe immersive technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, and other technologies not yet invented, that enable the integration of digital content and the physical environment in a manner that supports user engagement. This resolution follows earlier efforts by the House and Senate to designate immersive technology as a “key technology focus area” for US research and development prioritization.
Capitol Hill further views XR as one critical part of the emerging technology ecosystem that includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, quantum computing, and advanced communications, capabilities often noted across Halldale’s wide-ranging editorial program.
The resolution contains some eye-opening justification for the US to focus on and support XR technology. While the House bill notes “an estimated 23,000,000 jobs globally will use XR technology by 2030,” it adds, “the market for immersive technologies is projected to reach over $450,000,000,000 by 2030.”
As often reported in Halldale’s editorial program, XR and its underpinning technologies enable use cases across high-risk segments of government and industry – in defense, commercial aviation, healthcare and others – across the globe.
Halldale will also be attentive to whether US government support for XR will move beyond resolutions – to focused funding to advance XR technology underpinnings, similar to steps taken to strengthen the US semiconductor industry.
And finally, Happy National XR Month!