A baseline for the emerging world: The XRSI Definitions of Extended Reality (XR)

This piece was contributed by Marco Magnano, XRSI Director of Communication

“Without standards, there can be no improvement”. – Taiichi Ohno

Giving the right name to things is the first step in understanding them, and therefore explaining them. This is especially true when you enter a new world, a mirror world reserved for a few people before these days.

Well, today this is no longer an exercise for specialists. The year 2020 was expected by most of the industry as the year of a great leap towards the mass adoption of immersive technologies, thanks to the launch of new innovative and cost-effective devices and thanks to the decisive push of 5G connections.

But the coronavirus emergency becoming global changed everything: events are canceled, schools and workplaces are being closed down everywhere, the most important cities in the world become closed and empty spaces. For this reason, it becomes even more crucial to extend our reality beyond its physical space.

We have the opportunity to transform a momentous crisis into an opportunity to expand access to these new worlds to a multitude of people. “This is likely the push extended reality needed to finally go mainstream and realize its true potential. However”, says Kavya Pearlman, founder and CEO of XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), “these brave new worlds, just like any new ecosystem, need its own ruleset, standards, and code of conduct”. That’s why the industry must be able to speak with one voice. When we say “screen”, or “engine”, or even “stethoscope”, we all speak of the same thing. In emerging domains, however, there are often wars of words, which generate confusion and put roadblocks to the development.

This is the time to reverse this trend. Realizing the dire need for such a baseline for the extended realities XRSI’s member-led XR Data Classification Working Group created and launched the first set of standard definitions and taxonomies for the immersive technologies and for the whole domain of the extended realities. In order to establish existence, this first standard focuses on the common baseline for a shared vocabulary in the industry, marking the first step in the creation of a full Data Classification Framework. This document outlines the fundamental principles of a constantly expanding domain, and represents the result of the work of some of the most important experts in the sector, from researchers to content creators, from industry leaders to regulatory experts. 

“It is time that we put an end to the war of words and definitions, and focus on building a safe extended reality (XR)”, Jan-Erik Vinje, Managing Director of Open AR Cloud, liaison organization for XR Data Classification Public Working Group, states. “A crucial first step to enabling these technologies is for participants to be able to communicate and identify each other in a way that everyone understands”.

The XRSI-001 standard is the first step in creating a full Framework for Data Classification, an effort that XRSI and all its partners and supporters carry on every day in the industry. XRSI is the first global initiative to proactively anticipate and address the cybersecurity challenges in emerging technologies, by establishing baseline standards, discovering novel cyber attacks in emerging technologies, and setting the ground for ethical and privacy standards, with a final goal: helping build safe immersive environments.

The XR Safety Initiative Standard Publication XR-001, called The XRSI Definitions of Extended Reality (XR), can be downloaded directly by clicking HERE, or by visiting xrsi.org website.