Immersive Web Working Group Charter

The mission of the Immersive Web Working Group is to help bring high-performance Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) (collectively known as XR) to the open Web via APIs to interact with XR devices and sensors in browsers.

Join the Immersive Web Working Group.

Start date 24 September 2018
End date 1 March 2020
Chairs Ada Rose Cannon (Samsung), Chris Wilson (Google)
Team Contacts Dominique Hazael-Massieux (0.2 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: topic-specific calls may be held
Face-to-face: we will meet during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants, usually no more than 3 per year.

Background

A new generation of head-mounted displays and environment sensing capabilities on mobile devices are enabling augmented and virtual reality (collectively known as XR) to emerge as a critical field of evolution for human-machine interactions.

Due to its inherent low friction and support for ephemeral experiences, the Web provides a promising ecosystem for the creation, distribution, and experiencing of XR content, applications, and services.

The October 2016 W3C Workshop explored that potential, relying on browsers to display and interact with content using available head-mounted displays and handheld devices providing a window into virtual space. The Community-Group incubated WebXR Device API has already gained interest from a number of implementors. This Working Group will build on that momentum to standardize the WebXR Device API as part of the Open Web Platform.

Scope

The Immersive Web Working Group will develop standardized APIs to provide access to input and output capabilities commonly associated with XR hardware such as Google’s Daydream, the Oculus Rift, the Samsung GearVR, the HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets and sensors as well as mobile handheld devices and standalone headsets such as the Oculus Go. The WG will develop APIs to enable the creation of XR web experiences that are embeddable in the Web of today, enabling progressive enhancement of existing sites.

The scope of the Immersive Web Working Group charter is to define APIs which:

Out of scope:

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security or privacy implications and considerations for implementers, Web authors, and end users.

Each specification will have an associated testing plan developed in parallel, and will be completed when the specification reaches Candidate Recommendation.

Each specification will contain a section describing known impacts on accessibility to users with disabilities, ways the specification features address them, and recommendations for minimizing accessibility problems in implementation.

Deliverables

More detailed milestones and updated publication schedules for the deliverables detailed below in this charter are available on the group publication status page.

Draft state indicates the state of the deliverable at the time of the charter approval. Expected completion indicates when the deliverable is projected to become a Recommendation, or otherwise reach a stable state.

Normative Specifications

The Working Group will deliver the following W3C normative specifications:

WebXR Device API

This specification describes support for accessing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices, including sensors and head-mounted displays on the Web.

Draft adopted from Immersive Web CG

Expected completion: Q4 2019

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

  • Use case and requirement documents;
  • Test suite and implementation report for the specification;
  • Primer or Best Practice documents to support web developers when designing applications.

Timeline

  • Oct 2018: First teleconference
  • Nov 2018: FPWD for WebXR Device API
  • Oct 2018: First face-to-face meeting
  • Dec 2018: Wide Review of WebXR Device API
  • Q2 2019: CR for WebXR Device API
  • Q4 2019: Rec for WebXR Device API

Coordination

For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD and CR, and should be issued when major changes occur in a specification.

The Working Group will also coordinate with the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group on input to use cases and requirements.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

Immersive Web Community Group
The Immersive Web Community Group will provide the WebXR Device API seed specification to begin the standards process. In addition, the Immersive Web Working Group plans to partner closely with the IWCG to incubate new features - in particular, incubation of features that are out of current scope for the working group will happen in the Community Group, and then be followed by future WG rechartering to include them in scope.
Devices and Sensors Working Group
The Devices and Sensors Working Group develops the Generic Sensor framework, which may provide valuable integration point with sensors that integrate with XR devices.
Web Application Security Working Group
The Web Application Security Working Group develops the Permissions API as well as guidance on the definition of powerful features, both of which might apply to the features provided by the WebXR Device API.
Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group
The APA Working Group will review deliverables for accessibility implications and help develop solutions.
Audio Working Group
The Audio Working group develops the Web Audio API, which enables 3D audio spatialization. We expect users of the WebXR Device API to want to spatialize audio, and the two groups will work together to ensure this works for developers as well as examine how to better support this in the future.

External Organizations

Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is in charge of the WebGL specification on which the WebXR Device API heavily relies for its operations. The Working Group will coordinate its roadmap with planned evolutions of WebGL. The group will also track and coordinate with Khronos OpenXR standard initiative.

Participation

To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.

Communication

Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public: the meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests. The meetings themselves are not open to public participation, however.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the Immersive Web Working Group home page.

Most Immersive Web Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work in GitHub issues and on the public mailing list public-immersive-web-wg@w3.org (archive). The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

The group may use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote, and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all major resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (Version of 5 February 2004 updated 1 August 2017). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

Licensing

This Working Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.