Video Electronics Standards Association Set to Tackle AR/VR

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) just formed a Special Interest Group (SIG) to examine standardization for augmented reality and virtual reality. With the rise of AR/VR-enabled eyeglasses and head-mounted displays for gaming and movies, developers are finding that the lack of standards is negatively impacting their ability to make products interoperable. According to VESA, the lack of standards also increases the complexity and cost of development, ownership and replacement and creates confusion for end users.

VESA states that the SIG, which was proposed by member company Analogix Semiconductor, is “open to both VESA members and non-members, allowing discussion to address the varied needs of all the ecosystem players, including headset makers, glass makers, and other types of providers not typically involved in VESA standards development.”

VR_Headset_Clouds

The SIG also plans to work with “other VESA task groups, as well as other standards organizations.” VESA executive director Bill Lempesis notes that the organization looks “forward to leveraging our industry leadership to encourage dialogue among industry providers and ultimately help drive further adoption of this exciting technology.”

Analogix Semiconductor director of system architecture Greg Stewart, who chairs the AR/VR SIG, notes that, “AR/VR products involve both software and hardware development, which requires that different companies in different areas work together to pursue a unified AR/VR standard.”

“The SIG will explore the technology area and define recommendations for the requirements and scope of a possible standard, as well as set objectives and timelines so that a task group can move forward with more formal development and implementation,” he explained.

The VESA AR/VR SIG lists its key missions:

  • Establishing the hierarchical structure for AR/VR services, including physical connections, data transfer protocols, software drivers and application layers.
  • Defining the basic communication data structure and communication channel between the source and sink devices.
  • Studying the related technologies and algorithms, and standardize them to enable economic and efficient implementation.
  • Suggesting any changes to existing VESA standards that may be needed for better AR/VR support.
  • Working with other standards bodies to merge suggested changes into related standards.

VESA previously developed the DisplayPort, Embedded DisplayPort and Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) standards; the latter “works with VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort and other established interconnect standards to enable plug-and-play monitor functionality.” The subsequent DisplayID extension defines displays with 4K and higher resolution.

Related:
A New VR and AR Standard Would Set the Bar for Rewriting Reality, The Verge, 5/10/17