Yesterday five US congressional representatives announced the formation of a ‘Congressional Caucus on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality’.

The bipartisan caucus will be co-chaired by:

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.

Part of the US Congress, the reps are members of the House of Representatives which has 435 members that represent districts within states. Together the House of Representatives and the Senate form the Legislative branch of the US government which deals with passing laws and regulations. For a detailed analysis of the inner-workings of the bill passing process, see this award-winning documentary.

We reached out to Brian Sommer at IME Law to explain the role of the caucus and its importance to the industry:

The Congressional members that formed the Reality Caucus essentially are the initial go-to resource (the de facto Congressional experts) for Congress when augmented, virtual and mixed reality bills or legislation is discussed. Immersive technology business and thought leaders will be well-served by understanding the predilections of these U.S. representatives serving on this Caucus, as their voting records could signal whether the bipartisan committee members are more or less prone to enact regulations.

Meanwhile, lobbyists advocating for the immersive technology sector can make an immediate impact by educating Caucus members on emerging privacy issues. For example, heat mapping analytics and biometric data technologies present novel ways for consumers to engage and interact with these emerging technologies. At the same time, privacy rights must be respected.

With a coordinated effort by industry leaders, educators, and Caucus members, great strides can be made at a federal level to avoid needless regulations, and encourage continued innovation and development within the sector.”

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