1. How do you think the SERMAS project can make a difference in the XR sphere?
The SERMAS project focuses primarily on socially acceptable XR systems. And this, in our view, has the potential to significantly impact the XR sphere by promoting diversity and inclusiveness in XR experiences. XR means not only immersive interfaces and captivating content but simultaneously interfaces and content accessible to people of all backgrounds, cultures and abilities, tools that encourage interaction and connection between users of diverse groups.
This project can help create tools to break down barriers and promote empathy and understanding, leading to a more inclusive XR ecosystem where everyone feels valued and included. This can also have a positive impact on society at large, as XR experiences that promote social acceptance and diversity can help increase awareness and understanding of different perspectives, cultures, and lifestyles. Furthermore, thanks to these aspects, a SERMAS agent can attract a wider range of users and help drive growth in the XR sector.
2. What is the SERMAS vision of XR?
The vision of this project is to create an inclusive extended reality experience where users can interact and connect to digital services in new and innovative ways. The emphasis is on promoting social acceptance, breaking down barriers, and promoting empathy and understanding. The experience should be engaging, accessible, intuitive, trustable, and enabling for all users, regardless of their background, culture, or ability. Our starting point is that we believe that there is a need for a paradigm shift for XR experiences, where the "revolutionary opportunities opened up by these technologies will only materialize if concepts, techniques and tools are provided to ensure the social acceptance of the systems". XR" (cit.). Among the crucial points are the design and development of intuitive and inclusive interfacing methods (which consider verbal and non-verbal aspects, for example), accessible contents, and the design of reliable systems. All this, using as a guide the use cases and features focused on the user's needs.
3. What is the main result SERMAS will deliver?
The main result will be a proven methodology to design socially acceptable XR agents. And the word proven is the key because together with the theory there will be the practice of the different use cases that are “just” instances of the SERMAS toolkit.
4. What do you think is the most important trend in the XR field for 2023?
In our opinion, while the gaming industry is currently one of the largest users of XR, a significant trend is the increasing adoption of XR in enterprise and industrial settings. Companies across a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, and retail, are exploring how XR technologies can be used to improve processes, increase efficiency, and enhance customer experiences. As a result, there is expected to be a significant increase in investment and development in this area, leading to new and innovative XR applications and solutions.
5. Which sector is using the most XR at the moment?
As mentioned earlier, the gaming industry is perhaps the largest user of extended reality (XR) technologies. Virtual Reality allows players to fully immerse themselves in a digital environment, providing a more interactive and engaging gaming experience, while Augmented Reality allows building games that integrate with real-world surroundings. In this way, the gaming industry provides players with a more engaging and interactive experience, and this helps to push the boundaries of what is possible in gaming, allowing it to offer unique and immersive experiences and enhance its own product portfolio. And, from our point of view, this will act as a driving force for other sectors.
6. Describe the project in one word.