W3C Issues Report on “Web and Virtual Reality” from Recent Workshop

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New Web and Virtual Reality Standards Work Planned for 2017

https://www.w3.org/ — 17 November 2016 — (Cambridge, MA) — The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the global standards organization for the Web, has published a report: "Web and Virtual Reality (VR)" based on the two-day Workshop held 19-20 October 2016, hosted by Samsung in San Jose, CA.

"More than 70 organizations actively working in the VR ecosystem came together to demonstrate the benefits of the Open Web Platform as a full-fledged development environment for Virtual Reality," said Dominique Hazaël-Massieux, W3C technical staff contact.

According to Hazaël-Massieux, VR industry experts from companies including W3C members Apple, BBC, Dolby, Facebook/Oculus, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Qualcomm, and Samsung, addressed some of the shortcomings needed to make the Web more feature-rich and attractive for deploying innovative VR applications and services.

"As the Virtual Reality ecosystem expands, so does the demand for VR to leverage standard Web technologies such as HTML5, and to provide common ways to define, build and interact with 3D content on different devices,” said Philipp Hoschka, W3C Industry Lead. “With Web standards, there will be interoperability to avoid fragmentation and duplicated effort, which in turn lowers development costs."

Among the features workshop participants identified as needing standardization attention were: better integration of existing Web content in VR experiences; improved support and optimized transmission of 360° videos and audio; turning Web pages into enjoyable Virtual Reality spaces; and integrating the 3D building bricks of VR content into the fabric of the Open Web Platform.

To integrate Virtual Reality technology into the Open Web Platform, W3C plans to launch new standards track work in the first quarter of 2017. Once the work is chartered, W3C member organizations will begin the developing new technical standards to ensure that WebVR becomes a seamless part of the Open Web Platform.

"There is much work to be done, but the enthusiasm and high level of interest among VR industry representatives for new standards work at W3C is very exciting to see," said Hazaël-Massieux. "We are eager to get continued feedback on this work and invite participation from the community."

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth and stewardship for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium.

W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the United States, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan and Beihang University in China. W3C has Offices in Australia; the Benelux countries; Brazil; Finland; France; Germany and Austria; Greece; Hungary; India; Italy; Korea; Morocco; Russia; Southern Africa; Spain; Sweden; and the United Kingdom and Ireland. For more information see https://www.w3.org/

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