Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Juan Londoño is a policy analyst focusing on augmented and virtual reality at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Prior to joining ITIF, Juan worked as a tech & innovation policy analyst at the American Action Forum, where his research focused on antitrust, content moderation, AR/VR, and the gaming economy. Juan holds an M.A. in Economics from George Mason University and a B.A. in Government & International Relations from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
Excluding Teenagers From Online Services Stifles the Development of the Metaverse
In recent weeks, lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban or heavily restrict teenagers’ use of social media. But these bills will not keep teenagers safe from online harm, and they will severely stifle the development of the metaverse—an emerging immersive digital space that offers new opportunities for learning, working, and socializing.
Virtual Reality Is an Increasingly Competitive Market, Despite the FTC’s Concerns
Companies are flocking into an emerging field, attempting to lure consumers to their platforms with competitive prices, new features, and engaging content.
The Case for Immersive Tech in Apprenticeship Programs
Immersive technologies have already proved to be useful in supplementing classroom education and on-the-job training. Those successes underscore how implementing the technology can bolster the effectiveness of apprenticeship programs in the United States.
User Safety in AR/VR: Protecting Adults
Policymakers should empower metaverse platforms to develop innovative tools and solutions to address safety issues and ensure AR/VR products and services don’t harm users. Overly prescriptive regulation risks stifling the progress of those innovations.
Police Tech: Exploring the Opportunities and Fact-Checking the Criticisms
Police tech could transform the way law enforcement operates, reducing crime and saving lives. Policymakers should focus on advancing adoption while enacting regulations to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of police tech.
IP and the Metaverse: The Challenges of Protecting Trade Dress and Design Patent Rights in the Metaverse
As more content creators migrate to the metaverse—creating immersive, interactive, 3D virtual environments and placing virtual products within them—IP owners may face challenges in acquiring and enforcing trade dress and design patents for purely digital goods. To address this challenge, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should issue guidance clarifying the rights associated with trade dress and design patents, especially essential terms like “functionality” and “secondary meaning,” to ensure digital goods receive IP protections just like their physical counterparts.
IP and the Metaverse: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Will Face Serious Challenges in the Metaverse
With the development of the metaverse and other Web3 technologies creating more challenges for protecting rightsholders from online theft, Congress should update the DMCA to foster greater use of innovative technologies to protect copyright online.
Hypothetical Risks Should Not Get in the Way of the Rollout of Eye-Tracking in AR/VR
The rollout of eye tracking technologies in AR/VR devices has sparked a conversation regarding the risks and benefits of its implementation. But due to the infancy of the technology, most of the arguments on the matter tend to be hypothetical.
The FTC’s Unfair Jab at Meta Is a Sharp Blow to the Nascent VR App Market
The FTC filed a complaint in federal district court seeking to block Meta’s acquisition of the virtual reality start-up, Within Unlimited. The complaint is seriously flawed, but if successful, its challenge to the acquisition could deliver a serious blow to the nascent VR app market.
Restricting Ad-Supported Monetization in the Metaverse Can Erect a Giant Barrier in Our Digital World
Despite its rise in popularity in recent times, there is no certainty over what the metaverse will look like and what practices will remain in the long term, including its predominant business model. Companies will likely try various models that combine ad-based and sale-based tools to find financial sustainability and a broad user base.
The Potential of AR/VR Technology to Promote Tourism
By promoting the creation of AR/VR-ready content, tourism offices and related organizations can both encourage tourism to their destinations and find new revenue streams that can help conserve vital infrastructure, such as national parks.
How Extended Reality Tools Can Improve Training for First Responders
The immersive nature of these technologies allows for a learn-by-doing approach to education, which can be particularly helpful for those professions which require individuals to be able to make quick judgment calls, where the difference between life and death is decided in a matter of seconds. Adopting XR-based training programs for first responders could provide them with safer, higher-quality training at a lower cost while driving up investment and innovation in the XR market.
Recent Events and Presentations
Fostering User Safety in AR/VR Technology
Join ITIF for a panel discussion with policymakers and thought leaders about how to ensure that users can enjoy the benefits of AR/VR technology safely.
Jurisdiction and Enforcing IP Rights in the Metaverse
Juan Londoño speaks on dispute resolution mechanisms that may have a role to play in resolving some NFT and IP issues.
How AR/VR Can Help Expand Apprenticeship Programs
Watch the panel discussion with policymakers and industry leaders about how the use of immersive technologies could bolster the efforts to increase apprenticeship offerings and enrollment in the United States. The event will feature remarks by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).
How AR/VR Can Revolutionize the Way Businesses Market and Sell Products
Watch ITIF's panel discussion with industry insiders and thought leaders about how companies can use immersive technologies to market and sell products and the impact of laws and regulations on these opportunities.
Public Policy for the Metaverse: Competition, Innovation, and Protections
Juan Londoño will be speaking at TPRC 2022 in Washington D.C. The panel will focus on the public policy questions surrounding the development of the metaverse, ranging from competition policy, privacy, and user safety.
AR/VR Policy Conference
Join the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the XR Association for the second annual AR/VR Policy Conference.
Insights from Social Media for Safety in the Metaverse
View ITIF's virtual discussion about user safety in social XR, including upcoming challenges and how to protect children and teenagers on these platforms.