Industry Specification Group (ISG) Augmented Reality Framework (ARF) Activity Report 2019

Chair: Muriel Deschanel, b<>com

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

ETSI’s Industry Specification Group on Augmented Reality Framework (ISG ARF) is defining a framework for the interoperability of Augmented Reality (AR) applications and services. This framework will define an overall functional architecture, identify key components and interfaces. Its development will allow components from different providers to interoperate through the defined interfaces. This will in turn avoid the creation of vertical silos and market fragmentation, and enable players in the eco-system to offer part(s) of an overall AR solution.

During 2019 ISG ARF published two major deliverables. Issued in April 2019, the ISG’s first output was a Group Report [GR ARF 001 V1.1.1] on the Augmented Reality standards landscape, including an analysis of current standardization work relating to AR in various standards setting organizations and industry fora.

This was complemented by a second Group Report published in July [GR ARF 002 V1.1.1]. This considers industrial use cases for Augmented Reality (AR) applications and services, seeking a deeper understanding of typical AR use cases with an initial focus on industry 4.0.

This second GR outlines four categories of use cases identified via an online survey: these are inspection/quality assurance, maintenance, training and manufacturing. It offers valuable information about the usage conditions of AR technologies. A description of real-life examples is provided for each category of use cases highlighting the benefits of using AR. The first scenario shows how AR can greatly facilitate the deployment of wireless networks and the installation of connected objects, and how it can support rich contextual services. For maintenance, AR can be a useful support to employees and subcontractors servicing equipment in the field. The benefits in training are best demonstrated with a scenario involving a hazardous environment, e.g. in a radiological laboratory. The last case shows how a real time manufacturing assistant in AR can lead to improved KPIs in the context of Industry 4.0.

Progress was also made during the year on a third work item. This Group Specification will consider a modular reference architecture, to form the basis of the interoperability framework for industrial AR applications and services. Publication is anticipated in the first half of 2020.

In January 2019 a half-day workshop was held in London to promote ISG ARF initiatives and hear from the UK industry about AR industrial use cases, obstacles encountered when deploying (pilot) AR services and requirements for interoperability.

During the year ISG ARF also participated at these conferences and events:

  • Immersive Media meets 5G (3GPP/VR-IF co-organized workshop), California (April 2019)
  • AR/VR World, London (June 2019)
  • OGC AR summit, Toulouse (November 2019)

ISG ARF partners with other consortia and standards organizations to focus on complementary work areas and promote the development of interoperable AR applications and services.

First announced in 2018, an active partnership with The AREA (Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance) plays a valuable role in validating ISG ARF framework and architecture for enterprise AR.

During the year ISG ARF also maintained its liaison with ETSI Industry Specification Group MEC (Multi-Edge Computing), ISO/IEC MPEG, 3GPP and GSMA which have ongoing work relevant to the activity of the group.

Look out for in 2020 - ISG ARF work in progress

  • Modular reference architecture, forming the basis of the interoperability framework for AR applications and services
  • Interoperability requirements to guide future specification work
  • Joint AREA/ETSI/XR4ALL workshop “Engineering XR for the Future: Frameworks, Requirements and Future Research for XR growth”