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Microsoft Joins XRA Promoting ‘Responsible Development And Adoption’ Of VR/AR

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The XR Association, or XRA, now counts Microsoft among its membership, joining founding members Google, Facebook, Sony, HTC Vive, and Samsung.

The trade association represents the shared interests of key companies enabling augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. Microsoft’s Heidi Holman, assistant general counsel, will represent the company on the group’s board.

The XRA lists its purpose as promoting “responsible development and adoption of AR and VR globally with best practices, dialogue across stakeholders, and research” while serving “as a resource for researchers, policymakers, and partners across the XR industry.”

The group published a comprehensive starter’s guide, the XR Primer, which includes an overview of best practices for developers just getting started with VR or AR work. The 38-page document also provides clear breakdowns and diagrams explaining the range of enabling technologies for “XR” — an umbrella term encompassing the range of reality filtering software and hardware.

microsoft hololens 2 XRA XR Association
HoloLens 2 features on-board tracking and processing as a second generation standalone augmented reality (AR) headset from Microsoft. HoloLens 2 will set you back around $3,500 but there is a plan offering the headset at $99 per month.

Microsoft “will support the Association’s policy, advocacy, and government affairs work,” a press release states. The XRA also plans to “to define and promote standards that can bolster the global growth of the XR industry.”

I reached out to a press contact for the association and asked whether the group will support laws and policies with strong privacy protections for end users regarding behavioral tracking. I’ll update this post if I hear back.



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