Congress passed the Chip and Science Act. on Thursday, exciting scientists and masters in cutting-edge fields such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and robotics could receive billions of dollars in new research funding.
One of the bill’s most unexpected additions is directing the National Science Foundation to research “immersive technology,” a generic term for the virtual and augmented reality that is expected to underpin the metaverse. Its inclusion is a victory for Association XRn, a trade group for virtual and augmented reality technology companies founded by giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Oculus, among others, who have heavily lobbied Congress to add it.
What this particular bill really is does the encouragement of such things is still undecided at the moment. “Immersive technology” is one of 10 items listed in the bill as “key technology areas” in which NSF is investing a portion of its share of the $200 billion allowed by the bill (after it is approved, of course).
To see where this money could go in the VR research ecosystem, it’s helpful to look at past government investment and experimentation with the technology.
In 2018 Deloitte published a memo describing how cash-strapped government agencies can benefit from virtual reality technologies, including first responder training in dangerous situations, infrastructure maintenance and analysis, and the introduction of virtual reality into public classrooms. (The Department of Defense also took part in the action, and the army awarded Microsoft almost $22 billion contract to use their HoloLens AR headsets.)
As exciting as all these applications may seem, there are many barriers to their widespread adoption – the first of which is that the technology in question is still in its infancy, and data on it is not yet available. user experience that usually justifies such a huge investment.
Even giants like Meta, with seemingly unlimited money to invest in their VR headsets, are still struggling with motion sickness and ease of use issues; the military delayed the deployment of Microsoft HoloLens, and in April, the Department of Defense Inspector General issued a report saying that it is not yet clear whether the personal involvement of the soldiers is enough to justify the investment.
This is where NSF’s research and development capabilities can help., said Nick Maynard, co-founder and CEO of public-private technology organization US Ignite and former NSF program director. In recent years, the foundation has made great strides towards applied research aimed at turning virtual reality from a pipe dream into a widely useful tool.
“They will be more focused on how now that we have this technology, how can we use it to solve the problems that the country is facing?” Maynard said. “It’s not about the technology itself, but about how to create a path to its adoption.”
While VR and XR are currently all the rage due to lavish promises from metaverse entrepreneurs, the CHIPS act doesn’t actually mention the metaverse by name. As well as Joan O’Haravice president of XRA for public policy, tried to alienate her organization’s funding arguments from the consumer promises of companies like Meta.
“If this is something that will mainly be used for virtual communication with friends or shopping, then this is not something the US should be spending its dollars on,” she said. “You want to think about the future of technology in general, and we believe that immersive technology is an important part of that ecosystem.”
Passage of the Chip and Science Act may be a rare, bipartisan, lukewarm and fuzzy victory on The Hill, but is government intervention in industry really Work?
Well, perhaps. Sometimes. In today’s POLITICO magazine, well-sourced veteran business journalist Bob Davis takes a close look at some of the previous US government interventionswhich include notable failures such as “decade-long efforts to create ‘clean coal’, nuclear reactors using reprocessed plutonium, nuclear fusion, synthetic fuels, and supersonic commercial aircraft.”
However, when it comes to chips, Davis is more optimistic. There is potential and momentum from previous efforts began during the Trump administration, Davis notes. And Biden administration officials are returning to the public-private partnership begun under George W. Bush. called SEMATECHwhich “paid substantial dividends” by making the US competitive on chips at the start of the PC era.
Pornography has supported technological progress for decades, even centuriesand now the company is betting that it can do the same for Web3 – “AdultDAO”, a token-driven “adult production company” that promises, in addition to old-fashioned 2D porn, to at some point provide “full immersion in the Metaverse”. AR. /content based on virtual reality”.
Like most other DAOs or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, a stake in AdultDAO is earned by purchasing its “$ADULT” cryptocurrency, which gives them both their value and a say in how the company operates. (Yes, you can read them white paper here.)
The benefits the company touts for running its particular blockchain business are reminiscent of the early days of Bitcoin, when it was primarily used for transactions that, regardless of their legal status, people preferred not to be recorded on the official ledgers: increased anonymity and independence. among other things, from the Visa/Mastercard system with all its annoying rules.
There are many more USA laws and regulations ambient adult content, of course. And when someone “on the chain” almost inevitably encounters them, it will be another milestone in the ongoing stress test between alternative Web3 institutions and those that still rule the world the rest of us live in.
Stay in touch with the entire team: Ben Schrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson[email protected]); Konstantin Kakaes (ur.[email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter @DigitalFuture.