So if you’re a part of any corporate entity, you probably have certain feelings toward buzzwords—amicable or not. Yes, those terms your HR team presents every year and wholeheartedly invites you to use. Usually (and thankfully), most of these don’t make it to the following year. Remember “blue-sky thinking”? Or “customer-centric” strategies (because companies before used to be marshmallows-centric)? Yeah, me neither. Well, what about inclusivity?
Now, that one still resonates, doesn’t it? That’s because inclusivity defies the laws of buzzwords. In fact, we shouldn’t consider it one in the first place. As an objective, inclusivity was finally popularized back in 2015 when researchers dug into its effects on workplaces. Since then, business juggernauts have been ranking inclusivity higher and higher as an objective.
Without a doubt, promoting inclusivity grants companies desirable reputations. Yet, that is far from the only reason inclusivity is in higher demand than ever. The more significant reason is that simply inclusivity improves performance.
In 2017, an Australian study showed that inclusive teams are 10 times more effective than non-inclusive ones.
Alright, hooray! Inclusivity is great. But, it sadly isn’t easy to accomplish. And the first step to doing so is to celebrate our diversity. When companies run celebratory initiatives and inhibit implicit biases, they assure personnel of all ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds that they belong.
Recently, a majority of these initiatives have involved AR. And rightfully so; Augmented Reality is one of the most efficient tools for mass communication. It has joined the fight against climate change. AR can even help parents enhance their parenting skills and connections with their young ones.
Hence, it makes sense that AR has been used as a medium to show us all the diverse beauty of the human race. Also, it makes just as much sense for us to tout how wonderful some of these AR initiatives have been. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, here are 5 AR experiences that celebrate diversity and promote inclusivity:
1- AR & Inclusivity for Women in History Books
You know, there’s this old adage: “the victor gets to tell the story”. Unfortunately in some cases though, even victors don’t get to tell their stories. In most of the said cases, the victors are women. That is, women who achieve and change the course of history only for history books to neglect them.
But perhaps not anymore. A brilliant AR initiative, Lessons in Herstory is fighting to bring female trailblazers the mainstream reverence they deserve. Frankly, this AR experience takes no prisoners. The only way to activate it is by using smartphones to scan certain history textbooks that are dominated by men. Doing so unlocks AR content telling the stories of the women who contributed to change without getting credit.
Lessons in Herstory is a quintessential example of proper tech use to empower women and bolster inclusivity.
2- AR & Black History Month Celebration
From Michael Jackson to Will Smith going through a limitless array of talents, there’s no denying African Americans’ artistic legacy. You can find the influences of African American artists everywhere in pop culture today.
As we bid farewell to Black History Month this year, let’s revisit Snapchat’s celebration of the month last year. I’m talking about the “For Us, By Us: Art Through the Eyes of Black Millennials” AR campaign. The campaign focused on the artistic edge of African Americans. As such, Snapchat invited proficient African American artists to create artworks that honor BHM. After that, Snapchat displayed the artworks in its first-ever AR museum. It was a sight to behold and all Snapchat users had access to it.
Plus, the whole campaign was the brainchild of African American Snapchat personnel. Thus, it was inspiring to see Snapchat push for inclusivity by putting this special team in charge.
3- AR & Inclusivity for Handicapped Shoppers
Gratefully, there are more efforts today to give handicapped people easier lives than ever. Overall, governments are doing great at disabled inclusivity. However, they need to focus more on the emotional health of disabled people. Sure, public transportation buses contain ramps that make the buses wheelchair-friendly. But, think of handicapped people every time drivers help them hop on and off. Being deprived of independence has to take a toll.
Specifically, boosting handicapped people’s sense of independence is what our next AR initiative tackled. A Ph.D. researcher in Barcelona set on transforming shopping experiences for handicapped people. Conventionally, most stores sort products over high shelves that are difficult to reach on wheelchairs. Sadly, that leaves handicapped shoppers no choice but to ask for assistance.
Zulqarnain Rashid developed a game-changing AR app for stores to counteract this predicament. The app contains a database of all products in a store. Disabled people can use it to point their smartphones at any product. Right away, they’d get all the info they need on the product. Then, they could even make purchases straight through the app.
4- AR & Inclusivity for Deaf Theatergoers
Perhaps the most ambitious entry on our list, this AR initiative targets deaf people of good artistic taste. In 2018, the National Theatre in London decided there’s no reason deaf people can’t enjoy theatres. Consequently, the historic venue debuted AR glasses for deaf people to rock during plays.
These epic AR glasses displayed subtitles for every bit of dialogue and in complete sync. The memorable experience was the perfect way to empathize with hearing loss sufferers. Whatsmore, theatres in other cities like New York and Avignon have been following suit.
5- AR & Stonewall Pride
There was a time when police raids of gay bars were commonplace. But over 50 years ago, the LGBTQ+ community went full-on do-or-die. In the summer of 1969, Stonewall fought back. LBTQ+ individuals, who took Stonewall Inn in New York for a haven, resisted the police’s homophobic acts. Evidently, a week of resistance paved the way for today’s gay rights.
The bravery of the Stonewall people inspires the LGBTQ+ community every day. And it acts as a reminder to the community that they need to fight for inclusivity. In celebration of 50 years since the events of Stonewall, Google framed that reminder in AR. Enter, Stonewall Forever!
Launching Stonewall Forever inside Christopher Park (a park across Stonewall Inn) triggers a mesmerizing AR monument. Interacting with the monument unlocks stories documenting the triumphs of the community over the years.