XR4HUMAN was recently awarded EUR 2.5 million in Horizon Europe, the world’s largest research and innovation programme.
Along with 11 partners USN will assess the challenges and opportunities as a consequence of eXtended Reality being adopted in constantly new areas of society.
“The European XR industry, consumers, legislators and academia need to be sufficiently aware of the opportunities, benefits and risks of XR technology. We will help Europe manage this technology in a good way,” say professors Rigmor Baraas and Rosemarie Bernabe, who will coordinate the project together.
They are also heading USN’s research group I-Merse, where this project is based.
In just a few years eXtended Reality (XR) has gone from being the preserve of researchers in labs to becoming a common consumer product. There are many obvious benefits to this technology, but it also harbours new challenges and a new type of risk.
Changes the way we live
This applies not least to ethics, security, privacy and use across different operating systems. It is in these areas, among others, that XR4HUMAN will make a contribution.
“This technology changes the way we live. It’s about how we absorb information and what we do with this information. It’s also about how we communicate with one another, how we learn, work, act and play. Many things will be affected by this, when doing this in an extended and not just physical reality,” Baraas and Bernabe say.
“At the same time that commercial development has accelerated, we lack knowledge on which forms of eXtended Reality will impact us in different phases of life. This could vary depending on whether we are children, adolescents, adults, elderly, female or male and whether we have a functional disability,” the researchers say.
“How can we best develop and use this technology to maximise the benefits and minimise the negative effects,” Baraas and Bernabe ask. And the answers are intended to be provided by the project:
- A goal is to develop common guidelines that make it easier for European businesses and authorities to manage XR.
- Another goal is to develop online tools that both businesses and authorities can use.
- The project will also create a ranking system and teaching materials to make it easier for consumers to select the best solutions and products.
- The project will also impact businesses and other stakeholders, including through a digital European forum for dialogue around the use of XR.