I would like to acknowledge the immense work of academics, developers, engineers, and other designers that have contributed to all of the content referenced in this document. They have been infuencing this field in a myriad of ways over multiple decades, and without those contributions this would not exist.
Please, please - if anything you take from this I hope it's that there are so many amazing resources and areas of interest out there and so many experts just waiting to talk!
I do not miss the "VR is Dead" articles, truly. But unfortunately that means we now have the absolute dystopian "VR is going to ruin us all" prominence taking a chokehold.I would be remiss without some kind of call towards a more ethical future:
Be aware of your users’ personal privacy and the ethical foundations of this technology. These technologies are still in their infancy for consumer adoption and it is incredibly important we advocate on behalf of our users constantly.
We have to think of malicious agents that might manipulate our user’s data or personal privacy to use against them. Not only this, but ethical considerations also bridge beyond personal data usage, as VR/AR adopts every single problem that the real and digital worlds already have. This includes the potential issues of human behavioral learning on non-atomic objects, except it also adds a layer of biosensing and environmental data. Some good references can be found at XRSI, Anti-Defamation League, Sensemaking Frameworks for the Metaverse & XR Ethics, and also it wouldn't be an intro to VR/AR presentation without the requisite HyperReality reference:
Jokes aside, there is no doubt in my mind that this industry truly is in an age of exploration around human-computer interaction, by both academic and industry standards. This is why I initially hesitated to write this chapter, as encapsulating all of the different categories of an entire nascent industry that is currently in the process of evolving is close to impossible.
I like to think back to my original CAVE project in 2014 and smile about how much joy I've experienced getting the opportunity to work in this industry and learn from so many truly talented people. This is (in far, far too many words) a true love letter to how far we've come. We don't celebrate our wins often enough, and we've grown so much as a community over these years it brings joy to my heart.