VESA forms a SIG for virtual and augmented reality devices

With many virtual-reality headsets options already on the market, and Microsoft's mixed-reality devices potentially hitting the market later this year, consumers have no shortage of choices when it comes to immersive games and experiences. The folks over at VESA figure it's high time that somebody started worrying about interoperability and compatibility. To that end, the standards body has formed a special interest group (SIG) to explore standardization for the augmented and virtual reality market.

As proposed by Analogix Semiconductor, one of VESA's members and a manufacturer of DisplayPort controllers, the SIG will have several goals. It will look to establish a structure for AR/VR services, define the communication channels, and study existing standards to explore possible changes. As VESA already has the industry connections and a deep portfolio of standards, it should be well-positioned to help the emerging products in the AR and VR markets play well with each other.

The SIG is open and hopes to attract not only headset makers but also lens makers and "other types of providers not typically involved in VESA standards development." One can only hope that the creation of the SIG can help to standardize what's currently a nascent and fragmented market.

Comments closed
    • psuedonymous
    • 3 years ago

    For comparison, this could be considered the PHY layer sitting a few levels below [url=https://www.khronos.org/openxr/<]Khronos' OpenXR[/url<] API layers. This is not a standard you need to get Oculus, Valve, etc on board with (any more than you needed to pimp out HDMI or DP them them). It's a standard you need to get GPU manufacturers and panel controller manufacturers on board with.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    It’s about time someone did this. The fragmentation of the whole VR market is even worse than the days when people were torn between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Looking back, well, that was kinda fun.

    • Laykun
    • 3 years ago

    Can I be part of it?

    • brucethemoose
    • 3 years ago

    This all depends on how stubborn Sony, Valve and Facebook are, right?

    I get the feeling Facebook would be perfectly happy keeping everything proprietary. Valve already has their own “open” VR standards. Sony doesn’t need to worry about cross-platform compatibility that much. So, I’d say the odds of all the big devices coming under the VESA umbrella seems pretty small.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Between the three main connected devices (Vive/Rift/PS4VR) and the cornucopia of phone-based headsets, standardisation can’t come fast enough.

    It’s bad enough dealing with ReVive, but getting VR/AR apps to work between GearVR, Cardboard, Daydream is a nightmare, given that they’re all supposedly running in a very similar way on similar hardware using a similar OS.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 3 years ago

    Part of the reason I’m not on board yet is because you aren’t just buying a HMD, you’re buying into a closed ecosystem that isn’t focused on compatibility. If, say, the Oculus touch and currently exclusive applications were available​ to use with the HTC Vive headset which can connect wirelessly to an Android device and utilize the Kinect for motion tracking…if there was some real collaboration between companies to make VR something truly great, even if they choose to be more competitive later on, this stuff might get off the ground.

      • Wonders
      • 3 years ago

      Can’t find the link (I’m at the dentist), but GabeN said that SteamVR is intended for a heterogenous VR hardware ecosystem, with the goal of supporting different hardware capabilities (room scale/seated/standing/controllers). I agree with you that “real” collaboration would be nice. But look at the vendor lock-in/walled garden practices of, say Apple, and the smartphone industry that has become non-terrible (as was far from a certain future back in the days of Palm and early Android devices). Also some of the other platform lock-in stuff/developer funding weirdness with graphics cards… but that industry is doing better than ever. I think VR will fail only if developers lose interest.

    • TwoEars
    • 3 years ago

    VR is moving pretty slow, might be turning into another flop like 3d TV’s. Mass market interest really isn’t there right now. People see it as a cool novelty experience but not something they need or want in their home. The niche market might be there though, the same kind of people who buy flight controllers and water cooling kits. But mass market? Hmm, not so sure. It would take something very special.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      What killed VR was massive profiteering and facebook. Oculus could have revolutionized VR, as it was designed by carmack and was originally going to sell for $400, but facebook screwed that, and the Vive is just blatantly price gouging for $800.

      The only way VR is going to survive is an open standard and 3rd party manufacturers competing on price. Hell, maybe even Microsoft and Sony will bring it mainstream through the consoles, but it certainly won’t be HTC or Oculus, since both of them are either price gouging or screwing the software ecosystem.

        • UberGerbil
        • 3 years ago

        Oculus was never going to sell for $400. That was just delusion / lies / magical thinking. “Our hardware is the equivalent of two higher-than-high-end smart phone displays plus a bunch of custom electronics and it will sell for less than half of all that.” Never. Going. To. Happen. Maybe in the 2020s, when that is commodity-level hardware and they’ve been selling millions of them to drive the costs down. Certainly not at launch.

        But a bunch of people bought into the hype and have been forever butthurt since Facebook got involved and told them the truth. (If anything, Facebook could sell the hardware for a lower cost than the founders ever could because FB could make it up through other channels in the ecosystem). If Oculus hadn’t sold out to Facebook, there’s a good chance the current situation would be exactly the same, except people would be mad at Oculus for moving the price to something realistic and at Carmack for losing interest and moving on to something else (as he is wont to do).

          • DoomGuy64
          • 3 years ago

          [url<]https://www.vuzix.com/Products/iWear-Video-Headphones[/url<] [url<]http://www.osvr.org/buy/[/url<] OH LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE. YOU KNOW WHAT'S REALLY DELUSIONAL/MAGICAL THINKING? THAT THESE DEVICES REALLY NEED TO COST MORE THAN $400 WHEN HIGH END PHONES WITH 1440P SCREENS COST THE SAME. THERE'S NO WAY THE HIGHER COST IS JUSTIFIED, AND THAT'S WHY VR IS DEAD. EVERYONE KNOWS IT'S A RIPOFF. Plus the software ecosystem is a joke.

            • Laykun
            • 3 years ago

            The real joke here is that you posted the vuzix iWear. You’re just trolling now, or you have no idea what you’re talking about.

        • Laykun
        • 3 years ago

        A) You don’t know the costs of developing, building, distributing and providing software licenses for any of these headsets, so your claim of price gauging has literally no footing.

        B) Claiming VR dead before it has even started (typical behaviour while a technology goes through the valley of disillusionment).

        You’ve got one thing right though, price will be important to winning the VR battle. But it will also be won on content, with those two combined you’ll see a victor. A cheap headset isn’t worth much if there isn’t anything you can do with it.

          • DoomGuy64
          • 3 years ago

          The Vive was giving away video cards and had a either $100 or $200 temporary price drop over the last several months. I also saw a deal with Nvidia recently that gives you THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS off the Vive when you buy a GTX.

          If you can’t recognize that the Vive is massively price gouging after all the “deals” they’ve run, there’s something wrong with you.

          B) VR isn’t 100% “dead”, it’s just not going anywhere until prices drop and support is standardized. Market fragmentation is keeping VR from going anywhere even for the suckers who buy into the price gouged Vive or Oculus. VR needs a standardized API that everyone can use, the games need to be universal, and once that happens cheaper headsets can replace Oculus and Vive.

            • Laykun
            • 3 years ago

            But no one is arguing that the price needs to come down, everyone agrees on this because this is obvious, and happens with all innovations in technology.

            Price drops over time are not indicative of price gouging, much like with the Oculus processes in production improve over time, particularly with such new products, with can drive costs down for users. While neither of us have data on how much these devices cost to make and ship we at least have official word on the recent Oculus price drop, which was for my aforementioned reason.

            Again, this is early tech and there aren’t many big players in the field yet to drive price competition, the Chinese market is stuck behind the current big high end headsets so this will cause prices to be stable for a while. At the end of the day though the language that you use makes you sound more salty than analytical, something about the current range of headsets has rubbed you the wrong way and you just seem to be on a mission to poo poo the industry.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            Just a bit, because the ecosystem is a mess. I originally was interested in getting the Oculus, but facebook ruined that, and the vive is ridiculously overpriced.

            I don’t think I’m going to bother with VR even if the price does come down, as I’ve tried the mobile version and my eyes have trouble focusing on the screen without wearing my glasses. Hard to say, but I’m gonna sit this out at least until a standard emerges and I know for sure the headset will work with my eyes.

      • psuedonymous
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]VR is moving pretty slow[/quote<] Am I living in some sort of parallel universe? We went from having HMD be either shit but expensive ($600 for a VGA HMD with a shitty LCD and a 20° FoV), or OK but hilariously expensive (big-ass Sensics PiSight that weighs multiple kg and costs more than your car, or one-off devices for the military market that cost more than your house), to devices that you can walk into a domestic electronics shop and buy for the cost of a smartphone that are [i<]better[/i<] than those military-grade devices, [b<]WITHIN 4 YEARS[/b<]. That's fast. That's really fucking fast. And it's not going to slow down. To quote Ghostbusters: "They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college. You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results". We've gone from VR R&D being in the double-digit millions of government funding (with some of that skimmed off and used to put out industrial HMDs) that can be spent for years incrementally reaching towards a spec, to triple-digit millions to billions going into R&D, and results expected yesterday. From right down at the IC level (Spectra7 and Triad are doing gangbusters) to OLED panels (everyone with a fab is looking at VR to drive panel density demand and fund continued process development once smartphones peter out not far above current DPI) to optics, to GPUs, to middleware. All are eyeing up VR as driving demand and many are already riding that demand wave. This is unlike with stereoscopic films, where the demand for new technology was minor (it needed to be rolled out, but nothing fundamentally new was being developed) and there was very little expectation of a demand increase, either from end consumers or B2B services.

    • wingless
    • 3 years ago

    This will be good because a standard should drive down costs in the long run and allow for performance optimizations.

    • Bumper
    • 3 years ago

    is the hardware developed enough for this?

    what will they standardize?

      • JosiahBradley
      • 3 years ago

      From the press release taken from [url<]https://videocardz.com/press-release/vesa-forms-special-interest-group-focused-on-augmented-and-virtual-reality-markets[/url<]: [quote<] - Establish the hierarchical structure for AR/VR services, including physical connections, data transfer protocols, software drivers and application layers - Define the basic communication data structure and communication channel between the source and sink devices - Study the related technologies and algorithms, and standardize them to enable economic and efficient implementation - Suggest any changes to existing VESA standards that may be needed for better AR/VR support - Work with other standards bodies to merge suggested changes into related standards [/quote<]

        • Bumper
        • 3 years ago

        Well I dont think they will have much success. The closed ecosystem is what largely differentiates oculus and vive. Vive has the lighthouses, but thats not getting standardized.

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