Law firm Perkins Coie released its fourth annual Augmented and Virtual Reality Survey Report earlier this week, which outlines the industry`s growth and some of its risks. The survey, conducted by 191 industry experts in January and February, revealed growing optimism about the long-term prospects for AR and VR technologies, with more than 75 percent saying they expect immersive technologies to be mainstream over the next five years. In addition, these technologies can be used to train budding lawyers. Realistic interactions with simulated clients are useful for empathy training and open the door to a broader understanding of complex issues for trainee lawyers.  Virtual work experience could also be used to introduce students to the reality of legal work. Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are starting to enter the mainstream, with applications ranging from training exercises for doctors to simulations for NASA engineers. However, leaders in the AR and VR industry also claim that there are still unresolved legal issues that are worth monitoring, especially when it comes to health and safety issues, as well as trademark and copyright enforcement. Virtual and augmented reality are burgeoning technologies that receive little direct attention from U.S. lawmakers and regulators. And with little public pressure and technology already falling within the scope of broader laws, that situation is unlikely to change anytime soon, the lawyers said. We wanted to take a quick look at three important areas of law that could be affected by the rise of VR and AR.
The use of these technologies highlights a number of legal issues that could affect legal doctrine and the future work of law firms:  Pettinger, “IMPROVING LEGAL OUTCOMES WITH VIRTUAL REALITY” (Lawyer Monthly, September 2020) Accessed February 27, 2021 *2 www.gradea.ca/virtual-reality-why-it-matters-for-the-legal-industry/ • Vr immerses users in a fully computer-generated environment. [ 5] Usually, a headset or wearable VR device is used to prevent a user from interacting with the real world while being immersed in a 3D digital experience.  The brain is led to believe in this “cyberreality”, and in fact, advanced VR technology projects objects expected by the brain to make the experience even more realistic.  VR spreads rapidly and is used in many environments. For example, companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, as well as the police and military, have conducted virtual VR exercises as part of their recruitment process.  The ability to simulate a work environment with different scenarios as part of the recruitment process is a great way for employers to assess potential employees in a flexible and truly immersive way. Augmented and virtual realities are cutting-edge technologies that are changing the world. This is now accompanied by a significant number of legal issues such as cybersecurity, privacy, and regulations at the state, federal, and international levels.  PWC, “Legal And Regulatory Challenges In The Enterprise Application Of Virtual And Augmented Reality: What Lies Ahead” (PWC, 2021) accessed February 21, 2021  Lenovo, “Don`t be `tech basic:` How virtual reality tricks your brain into think it`s real” (Mashable UK, July 30, 2018). accessed February 26, 2021 Toby Pettinger, Managing Director of MXTreality, describes the benefits that the legal industry can reap by becoming one of the first to adopt virtual reality solutions. License our cutting-edge legal content to develop your thought leadership and build your brand.
Early RV users experienced headaches and “virtual motion sickness.” The latest technologies seem to have improved this, but it remains a problem for some. Game manufacturers that use virtual reality must provide warnings in this regard. A user immersed in virtual reality is also in a vulnerable position – the VIRTUAL REALITY headset essentially blocks their vision and hearing. In fact, Sega has abandoned its initial efforts in VR, citing fears of bodily injury. As VR environments become more realistic, there is a growing risk that users with limited spatial awareness will lose their balance and injure themselves. AR presents slightly different challenges, but pokemon Go`s madness has already raised product liability issues because distracted players are so entangled in the game that they haven`t perceived their surroundings. This has led to traffic accidents, dangerous places and even sunburn3. The liability and practical risks associated with the use of AR and VR may limit the acceptance rate in the legal market and particularly in courtrooms.
Since I`m not a big gamer – unless you include my affinity for spending countless hours in the video arcade of our local Nathan`s Famous in the New York area during my youth – I had my first experience with the growing technological phenomenon of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) at the fabulous International Legal Technology Association (ILTACON) conference last August in National Harbor, Maryland. During ILTACON, I had the opportunity to wear and try on a headset and was immediately transported to a whole new world where I watched holograms, 3D content and images, interacted digitally and gesticulated that were superimposed on reality. It`s probably worth clarifying in advance what we mean by AR and VR. They are related, but it is not the same thing. AR occurs when technology puts information (sounds, texts, images) on the real world around us – it contributes to the reality we see, it does not replace it. VIRTUAL REALITY is a computer-generated environment that allows people to immerse themselves in another world. With a headset (with sound and image) and other input devices such as haptic gloves, people can experiment and manipulate their virtual environment. Sometimes the two are combined, and this is called mixed reality (MR).  Zehao He, Xiaomeng Sui, Guofan Jin and Liangcai Cao, “Progress in virtual reality and augmented reality based on holographic display” (2019) 58 (5) Applied Optics A74 Imagine that judges and juries wear VR/AR/MR devices to immediately transport them to a crime scene so they can thoroughly inspect, inspect and examine evidence during a trial. While important rules and laws regarding evidence may need to evolve to adapt to 21st century technologies such as VR/AR/MR in our courtrooms, our legal system would provide better justice and fairness for all by giving judges and juries clearer and better access to evidence on advanced technologies.
On the other hand, the legal profession will be indirectly affected by these technologies, as lawyers have no choice but to become familiar with these technologies when advising clients on the legal and regulatory requirements arising from their use.  This is particularly important because the potential impact of these technologies has been equated with that of the Internet.  Policymakers also need to familiarize themselves with XR technologies, as the creation of a strong regulatory framework will be important to ensure that these technologies are properly exploited.