Industry Specification Group (ISG) Augmented Reality Framework (ARF) Activity Report 2023

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.

ETSI's 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, 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 January 2023 the group published the fourth part of its multipart Group Specification (ARF 004) on Interoperability Requirements for AR components, systems and services. Published as GS ARF 004-4, it considers World Analysis, World Storage and Scene Management functions. Building on industrial use cases previously identified in GR ARF 002, this fourth part of the GS specifies high level Reference Point requirements between the World Analysis and World Storage (AR10 '3D Map' and AR11 'Relocalization Information'), and between the World Analysis and the Scene Management (AR8 'Pose'). 

This was complemented by publication in February of a revision to the first part of Group Report GR ARF 004-1 V1.2.1 that offers an overview of Interoperability Requirements for AR Components, Systems and Services.

A Specialist Task Force [STF 669] was established in summer 2023. Its main objective is to develop API specifications and a validation application based on existing implementations focussing on reference points (AR8 & AR11) between the World Storage, World Analysis, and Scene Management function. These activities commenced in autumn 2023, anticipating finalization in summer 2024 with the publication of an Open API specification on ETSI Forge.

Work Items in development during the year include:

  • A revision of Group Specification ARF 005 ‘Open APIs for the Creation, Management, and Querying of the World Representation’
  • A new Group Report ARF 007 ‘Standards Landscape’
  • A new Group Specification ARF 008 ‘Open APIs for Managing and Querying the World Analysis function’
  • A Miscellaneous Item ARF 009 ‘Wrappers for World Analysis and World Storage solutions and Validation Application’

Throughout 2023 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. It has also maintained an active presence at conferences and industry events e.g. ISMAR.

ISG ARF meanwhile continues its active liaison exchange with other ETSI groups (e.g. ISG CIM, ISG MEC) and with 3GPP SA WG4 group.

In September 2023, the ETSI Director-General approved ISG ARF’s request for a fourth extension of its period of activity for an additional 24 months.

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