Khronos members explore standards for 3D objects

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The Khronos Group consortium of hardware and software companies is exploring the creation of standards and guidelines for three-dimensional (3D) representations of products.

A new exploratory sub-group has been formed to consider the production and distribution of 3D objects, so they can be experienced realistically and consistently across all platforms and devices, including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and is open to any company to join without cost or intellectual property licensing obligations.

The announcement follows the release of the widely quoted Garnter report, which estimated that up to 100 million consumers could shop through online AR experiences and in-store. Retailers and technology companies have identified a need to manage the production and distribution of 3D objects if such a prediction is to be realised.

3XR, Adobe, Autodesk, Facebook, Google, Ikea, Qualcomm, Samsung and Unity Technologies are among the retail brands and technology companies that proposed the Khronos initiative. A working group is planned if there is sufficient interest.

Khronos explained in a statement: “The aim of this initiative is to enable 3D virtual products to be experienced realistically and consistently across a variety of endpoints, including search results, social feeds, ad units, in apps, on e-commerce websites, on mobile AR devices and VR/AR headsets, and on in-store displays.”

“Standard specifications and guidelines would align and streamline interactions between retailers and manufacturers working with technology providers, content creators, and technology platforms distributing and displaying virtual products.”

“This initiative would also leverage and guide the evolution of existing Khronos standards such as glTF for transmission of photorealistic 3D assets, WebGL for interactive 3D applications on the web, Vulkan for driving high-performance interactive 3D graphics, and OpenXR for enabling AR and VR applications that are portable across multiple vendor platforms.”

“Ikea has been working on large scale photoreal 3D for over 10 years and has been promoting open standards and collaboration all along. We are excited to contribute to this group to make the use of 3D easier and faster to meet the demands of our customers.”

Ikea’s Martin Enthed said: “Ikea has been working on large scale photoreal 3D for over 10 years and has been promoting open standards and collaboration all along. We are excited to contribute to this group to make the use of 3D easier and faster to meet the demands of our customers.”

Mike Festa of 3XR urged companies interested in 3D objects to get involved. He said: “The expanding ability for consumers to visualise products in their home, true to their actual size, is improving trust and confidence in online shopping. High-quality 3D content is the foundation of great XR experiences, and it is vital that industry leaders collaborate on standardisation to maximize accessibility. We are thrilled to be taking on this challenge as a part of the 3D commerce exploratory committee and encourage you to join us.”

Khronos released its unifying, royalty-free, open standard for high-performance access to AR and VR platforms and devices last month.

Known as the OpenXR 0.90 provisional specification and released during GDC 2019 in San Francisco, the standard specifies a cross-platform application programming interface enabling VR hardware platform vendors to expose the functionality of their runtime systems.

Image credit: My name is Yanick on Unsplash

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