ARTICLE BY CLIFTON DAWSON

Clifton Dawson, CEO of Greenlight Insights, is an analyst who covers digital disruption and how today’s company are transforming their business models to deliver next-gen experiences through virtual and augmented reality technology. Follow him: @AskClifton.

Strategic Insight: A newly formed group within the U.S. Congress could lead to supportive legislative measures to accelerate the adoption of immersive technology to several U.S. industries. However, this is not the first time Congress has tried to tackle the industry. Executives should watch for meaningful developments coming from Washington, D.C.

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This week, five US congressional representatives announced the formation of a congressional think tank to educate fellow policymakers about VR, AR, and MR technologies and the impending impact on several sectors, including the entertainment, education and healthcare industry.

A bipartisan group law makers formed the ‘Congressional Caucus on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality’. The caucus includes US Representatives Yvette Clarke (D-New York), Suzan DelBene (D-Washington),Bill Flores (R-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-California), and Ted Lieu (D-California).

Caucus meet regularly in closed sessions and sometimes set legislative agendas, but the Reality Caucus has not yes revealed when it will hold its first meeting. The reps issued a joint statement about the caucus:

As these technologies continue to advance and grow, this ‘Reality Caucus’ will work to foster information sharing between Congress and our nation’s world-leading technology industry. These technologies have shown tremendous potential for innovation in the fields of entertainment, education and healthcare. As these technologies develop, questions will inevitably rise in privacy, intellectual property and other areas. This is an opportunity to educate our colleagues and others to ensure Congress is doing all it can to encourage – rather than hinder – these enterprising fields. We look forward to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help support innovation and address the challenges posed by this emerging sector.

The Reality Caucus is not the first ever such working group on virtual reality. In 1991-2, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Developments in Computer Technology: Virtual Reality held a series of hearings to learn how Congress can legislatively assist the budding technology. At the time, the subcommittee was chaired by politician and technologist Al Gore, who became 45th Vice President of the United States under President Bill Clinton. This subcommittee resulted in significant media attention and excitement, but no new significant legislations.