Industry Specification Group (ISG) Augmented Reality Framework (ARF) Activity Report 2022

Chair: Jens Johann, Deutsche Telekom AG

Responsible for defining an interoperability framework for Augmented Reality (AR) components, systems and services, enabling players in the chain to offer part of an overall AR solution and thus reduce market fragmentation. 

Augmented Reality (AR) blends real-time spatially registered digital content with our experience of the real world. Transparent and reliable interworking between different AR components is key to the successful roll-out and wide adoption of AR technologies and services.

Our Industry Specification Group on Augmented Reality Framework (ISG ARF) is defining a framework for the interoperability of Augmented Reality components, systems and services. Allowing components from different providers to interoperate through defined interfaces, this framework avoids vertical silos and reduce market fragmentation – and thus enables players in the ecosystem to offer parts of an overall AR solution.

Primary responsibilities of the group are:

  • To ensure that Augmented Reality (AR) services and platforms will be easier to design, deploy and operate than today, taking into account the support of 5G mobile networks and the advent of the Metaverse.
  • To enable the development of high-performance AR components which are portable between different hardware vendors and different providers of software solutions and platforms.
  • To achieve co-existence of legacy and proprietary platforms whilst enabling an efficient migration path to fully interoperable platforms for AR solutions.

In Q1 2022 the group launched work on two further parts of its multipart Group Specification (ARF 004) on Interoperability Requirements for AR components, systems and services:

  • Part 4 (to be published as GS ARF 004-4): World Analysis, World Storage and Scene Management functions – work ongoing;
  • Part 5 (published in December as GS ARF 004-5): External Communications.

Taking into account the interoperability requirements detailed in the previously-published Group Specification GS ARF 004-2, two Work Items were successfully finalized in close collaboration with STF 620 ‘Development and Validation of ARF World Storage APIs’:

  1. API Specification for the creation and management of the world representation that meets the requirements with respect to the World Storage and Pose Cluster. The results were published in September as GS ARF-005, which defines in OpenAPI format the data structures, API calls and exchange protocols required to create and manage the World Graph stored in the World Storage function. Basic structure of the World Storage API for World Anchors and Reference Objects includes:


  1. Within the same scope is a further Miscellaneous Work Item, on the implementation of wrappers for existing World Storage solutions satisfying the APIs for the Creation and Management of the World Representation. The results are available at:

During the year work also progressed on a new Standards Landscape, based on the existing functional reference model defined in GS ARF 003 and reflecting a significant increase in activities and publications of relevance for the group in recent years. Publication (as GR ARF 007) is expected in 2023.

An ARF Hackathon was held in January 2022. Outputs of this successful event included a client/server generation toolchain (generation of the dlls, npm deployment), and a designer authoring tool proposal.

Throughout 2022 ISG ARF continued its close collaboration with external bodies including The AREA, Khronos Group and the Open AR Cloud Association (OARC). These liaisons allow the exchange of views and expertise, enable coordination of work activities, foster collaboration on the interoperability of AR components, systems and services, and contribute to the development of a thriving eco-system with a diverse range of technology and solution providers.

The group has also maintained its active liaison exchange with ETSI groups (e.g. ISG MEC) and 3GPP SA WG4 group.

17 ETSI members and 13 non-ETSI participants have now signed the ARF agreement. The complete membership/participation list can be found here.

See a full list of ISG ARF Work Items currently in development here.