Although around for a couple decades, Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that is receiving a great deal of attention through growing implementations, fueled by developments in supporting technologies, improved network speeds and increasing user interest and industry experimentation. As these developments continue to evolve, there will be technological challenges caused by the variety of different devices, software and platforms, coupled with the overall multi-dimensionality of AR and its associated requirements and goals that are highly dependent on the AR offered service or experience.
Even though many major companies are trying to make AR mainstream and start-ups are forming around its various aspects and uses, the adoption and use of this technology face many issues including interoperability. Many of these challenges can be addressed through open standards (open in development process through consensus and voluntary use).
AR standardization as a whole can, in principle, provide a schematic or framework on which parties involved can build services and applications, while encouraging innovation through clearly defined practices, maintaining interoperability, generating market trust and allowing collaborations and efficient information exchange.
When we look at AR today, its development and application can benefit from being grounded in open standards and universally adopted standard interfaces that lead to interoperability of hardware and software, which is necessary to grow market opportunities for the industry and benefit users. Open standards reduce the need for companies to reinvent the wheel, allowing for solutions to be more cost-effectively developed and move to market faster. All involved in the open standards development benefit from cooperation in building a foundation for the industry to compete upon—as a fragmented technology landscape benefits few. Further, the current “infrastructure” upon which AR functions—and its main access tool or vehicle of mobile devices—relies on open standards. When we look at standards for AR, these standards need to align with and innovate upon this foundation.
As the current popularity (and market) trends on AR continue with AR experiences maturing, with more AR content being created, and as new services and business models emerge—not to mention as more and more people use the “well- marketed” AR paradigms of today, it is time to reinforce support for the development and application of open standards to ensure open AR for all.