Nine IEEE Virtual and Augmented Reality Standards Projects in the Works

They cover video quality, user interfaces, and file formats

3 August 2017

The IEEE Standards Association is developing a family of standards for virtual and augmented reality that address aspects such as safety, how different technologies should be defined, and how virtual and real objects should work together.

The groups working on the IEEE P2048 series of standards include representatives from content providers, device makers, game companies, and government agencies. The standards development effort is overseen by the IEEE Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VRAR) Working Group.

“Technology related to VR and AR is evolving at a rapid pace, and the current standards being developed by others only cover a small portion of the VRAR landscape,” says Yu Yuan, the working group chair. “While we are making a lot of progress and have garnered wide-ranging support and global participation, we are just beginning our efforts to actively identify standardization needs in the technology space.” Yuan also is the chair of the IEEE Digital Senses Initiative, an IEEE Future Directions effort.

Here are the nine standards projects under development.

  • IEEE P2048.1

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Device Taxonomy and Definitions” aims to outline the differences among devices—such as head-mounted displays, remote controllers, and sensor stations—that have similar and even misleading names but significantly different functions and performance. By dividing the devices into categories and levels, this standard could help users choose the right ones and facilitate the development of cross-platform content and services.

  • IEEE P2048.2

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Immersive Video Taxonomy and Quality Metrics” seeks to define variants of immersive video, which is an enabling technology behind many VR applications in media, entertainment, education, tourism, and other industries. The variants include such terms as stereoscopic, view point movable, and focus adjustable. The standard aims to divide them into categories and levels.

  • IEEE P2048.3

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Immersive Video File and Stream Formats” is designed to identify applicable existing video coding standards and define their integration into immersive video.

  • IEEE P2048.4

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Person Identity” would allow VR users to automatically identify themselves to a site or service through a registration method, authenticate pieces of information without needing to provide the site with additional details, and present themselves with specific visual features so their appearance could be certified.

  • IEEE P2048.5

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Environment Safety” intends to provide a safe zone that detects objects in close proximity of VR and AR devices as well as a warning system if the interaction is deemed potentially hazardous.

  • IEEE P2048.6

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Immersive User Interface” aims to enhance the user experience. Currently a keyboard, mouse, touch screen, or other non-immersive interface can disrupt an immersive experience. This project is specifying the baselines of immersive user interfaces to help facilitate the development of cross-platform content and services.

  • IEEE P2048.7

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Map for Virtual Objects in the Real World” is designed to specify a unified map for AR and VR applications that will assign coordinates, orientations, and other attributes in the real world to virtual objects. In many scenarios, virtual objects are supposed to be perceived as real objects, so they should have their own coordinates and orientations. Such a map could enable the shared use of virtual objects among different users and among different applications.

  • IEEE P2048.8

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Interoperability Between Virtual Objects and the Real World” looks to ensure that VR devices will communicate and exchange data with each other. In some scenarios, virtual objects not only are perceived as real; they also are supposed to interact with real objects.

  • IEEE P2048.9

    The “Standard for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Immersive Audio Taxonomy and Quality Metrics” seeks to distinguish between the many variations of immersive audio.

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