Last month’s Augmented Reality on the Web workshop in Barcelona has sparked a good deal of debate within and around W3C. As the final report shows, the workshop brought together many different companies and organizations working on or with a direct interest in the field of Augmented Reality — but how can W3C help in this area?
One outcome is clear: we need a method for representing data about points of interest and proposals are advancing to achieve this in a new POI Working Group. Quite what data needs to be represented concerning Points of Interest depends on who you ask. For some it’s a question of annotating a given point on the Earth’s surface where the longitude, latitude and altitude are all key identifiers. For others it’s more a question of the point at a given distance and angle from an object that may or may not be static as seen by an observer who may themselves also be moving.
Different communities are involved here: as well as the augmented reality community, the linked data community has a keen interest. There are other facets to the discussion too and this is what will make the POI working group’s work interesting!
The workshop also recommended that a new POI WG should go further and consider the wider picture of how AR does, or might, relate to the Web. Privacy is a major concern; device APIs are critical enablers; do CSS and SVG have sufficient power to support AR functions? Even the use of HTTP as a transport mechanism is questioned by some given the real time nature of AR.