New initiative wants to improve inclusion and diversity in the XR industry

COVID-19 seems to have drastically changed the way people behave when it comes to online shopping, making them be more accepting of the new immersive technologies. At least this is what the “Try it. Trust it. Buy it.” study released by Accenture last September allows specialists to conclude.

47% of respondents claimed that these technologies increase the feeling of connection with the products they are shopping for, with augmented and virtual reality and 3D content, for example, having the potential to boost consumer confidence on the journey and thus increase online sales.

With the bigger interest from consumers in these technologies, it can be predicted that there will be an increasing number of new companies and businesses within this industry. And, in order to create a more inclusive and diverse immersive future for it, a new initiative led by a global group of XR professionals is focusing especially on startups and new companies.

The initiative, called XN Inclusion (XRI), as already originated the release of an easy-to-use kit focused on the VR & AR (XR) startup community, giving them the ability of using this kit as an educational and operational resource for founders and leadership teams to make theirs companies the most diverse and inclusive possibly.

XRI has 40 Council members from all around the world, and this kit was produced with the collaboration of Rework Work, a leader on diversity and inclusion, and the law firm Fisher Phillips, which specializes in labor and employment. Stacey Gordon, CEO of Rework Work, shares her views on why this focus on startups is important to “plant the seed”:

“With startups, there is typically less structure, less awareness around inclusive processes and biases, and less red tape in general. By taking an active approach to creating diverse and inclusive company cultures from the start, barriers to progress can be reduced and business performance can flourish, which makes the startup stage a perfect time to not only do what is right on a human level, but also to do what is best for the long term success of the business.”

But the industry also suffers from other work-related issues, with bias being an important factor. Knowing this, XRI also created the Annual XRI Survey & Report to collect feedback in an anonymous way and then share the results in a report that is publicly available for everyone to look at.

In an age where the awareness over human issues and rights seems to be increasing, with racism, sexism and other biases being more discussed than ever, XRI hopes to expand this model to other industries, such as AI and blockchain, so that these matters can hopefully be removed from all these industries as soon as possible.

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