The work of the AREA is largely driven by its member committees and programs: Research, Interoperability & Standards, Safety, Human Factors, Requirements, Marketing, and Security. Each of these groups is focused on activities that contribute to the development of knowledge about the adoption of enterprise AR and the practical implementation of AR use cases. For AREA members, participation in one or more of the AREA committees and programs is an opportunity to share expertise, interact with other experts, and make a meaningful impact on the future of enterprise AR.
This is one in a series of blog posts exploring the work of AREA committees and programs. In this interview, independent researcher, Christine Perey, PEREY Research & Consulting, described her involvement in standards and why she is leading the AREA’s efforts to advance Interoperability & Standards.
AREA: How long have you been involved in standardization activities?
Perey: My role in standardization activities began in 1994 when I joined the ITU-T committee standardizing video conferencing. Seeing needs for interoperability in AR as early as 2010, I formed and led a grassroots community advocating for development of standards for AR. I have chaired dozens of meetings and workshops, and given dozens of webinars on the topics of projects and/or standards that could contribute to the advancement and adoption of open interfaces and AR interoperability. I work directly with a wide range of standards development organizations (SDO). As a member, a working group chair or co-chair, or as an invited expert, I currently contribute to nearly 20 standards. Outreach and coordination between SDOs is another passion of mine. On October 4, 2021, I chaired a tutorial coordinated with Khronos Group and ETSI ISG ARF about AR interoperability and standards in the context of the ISMAR 2021 conference. I encourage people interested in this topic and seeking to better understand what’s available to explore the tutorial website.
AREA: Tell us more about the AREA Interoperability & Standards program.
Perey: Through the Interoperability & Standards program, the AREA seeks to increase knowledge about the benefits and approaches to achieving interoperability and to advance the development of standards or other approaches to interoperability. That entails: informing AREA members and the enterprise AR ecosystem about existing standards for interoperable AR solutions through development of thought leadership content; supporting the identification of interoperability requirements in customer organizations; supporting the identification of interfaces in AR components that, through implementations, provide interoperability in enterprise AR solutions and services; engaging with organizations and members, including those dedicated to standards development and promotion of standards to provide requirements; and building a base of AR professionals who are well versed in the implementation of existing standards for AR, and promote the development and adoption of extensions to existing standards as well as new standards.
AREA: Why are standards so important to enterprise AR adoption?
Perey: The motivations for adopting standards depend on the segment of the ecosystem to which a company belongs. Let’s take the customer segment, because when technology buyers are successful, so are their partners and providers. Today, when companies begin evaluating enterprise AR use cases they do so with isolated projects (products are not integrated with enterprise systems) and using products of one or a few technology providers. In companies that are advanced in their study of AR, there can be partial or full testbeds of multiple AR technology providers, but they are often isolated from other AR projects and are not integrated with enterprise systems.
A company seeking to maintain and expand its testing within a specific technology segment (e.g., comparing multiple providers or models of hardware) or to implement at scale in their enterprise confronts significant obstacles. It has been demonstrated in other industries that when standards or open source interfaces and guidelines have been widely accepted and implemented across an ecosystem, higher technology interoperability can: reduce barriers to deployment of multivendor or multi-product solutions (also known as “integration”); lower costs of ownership; reduce risks of vendor lock-in; and increase innovation and opportunities for new sales through provider specialization. Barriers are removed and everyone benefits.
AREA: What’s on the horizon for the AREA Interoperability & Standards program?
Perey: We will continue to develop thought leadership content, through hosted webinars, white papers, and blog articles, as well as participation in relevant conferences and events. As the awareness of interoperability as a key to success rises, we will work with large enterprises deploying AR to develop their interoperability requirements and integration needs and bring them to the attention of SDOs and the AR technology providers. We will act as a conduit from SDOs to AREA member companies – providers as well as customer segment members – to share SDO draft specifications and gather and deliver feedback to them. And, where there are implementations and testing suites, we will work to support the testing of products and services that comply with international standards in real-world settings.
AREA: Why should AREA members consider participating in the Interoperability & Standards program?
Perey: This is a program that can only thrive when AR customers are actively sharing their requirements and real-world experiences. So we’re looking for AREA members to contribute to the program by preparing blog posts on topics that will share their thought leadership and raise awareness about specific or general challenges. Topics could include: key interoperability and standards requirements for enterprise AR; developing best practices for safety, human factors, and more; sharing their experiences in standards development; and recounting their experiences implementing one or more standards in specific use cases or products. AR component and solution providers will increasingly be able to showcase interoperability through AREA programs to advance interoperability such as plug-fests and testbeds. Now is the time, while AR standards are under development, to make sure your voice is heard, your needs are being considered, and your experiences are being shared.
If you’re an AREA member and would like more information about participating in the AREA Interoperability & Standards program, please contact Christine Perey. If you’re not yet an AREA member but want to see an AR ecosystem that derives the full benefit of standardization and interoperability efforts, please consider joining us. You can find membership information here.