Global VR Association, Open VR Standards Initiative launched

December 8, 2016 | 10:42

Tags: #rikard-steiber #standard #steam-vr #vr #vr-headset

Companies: #acer #amd #facebook #global-vr-association #google #htc #intel #oculus-vr #razer #samsung #starbreeze #valve

A number of industry giants have joined forces to create the Global VR Association, at the same time as the Khronos Group announces the launch of the Open VR Standards Initiative.

A glance at the list of founders involved in the Global Virtual Reality Association, a coalition formed to 'promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally,' reads like a who's-who of the industry at present: HTC, Oculus VR, Samsung, Sony, Google, and the Acer-Starbreeze partnership make up the initial members, responsible for the Vive, Rift, Gear VR, PlayStation VR, Daydream, and StarVR headsets respectively. There are, however, a couple of notable absences: Razer, which is behind the OSVR project, is not a member, and neither is Steam VR creator and HTC Vive launch partner Valve.

'We're still very much in the early stages of VR, so it's critical that industry leaders work together to create and share ideas on how we can safely build this industry,' claimed Jordan McCollum, general counsel for Oculus VR at corporate overlord Facebook of the new coalition. 'I'm looking forward to working with other hardware makers to proactively address the challenges we need solve to make VR a success over the long term.'

'It is important that we as an industry are working together to establish best practices and common resources for our industry that will drive toward the $120 billion [market size] projection by 2020,' agreed Rikard Steiber, senior vice president of HTC's Vive arm. 'The GVRA represents industry leaders and hardware manufacturers across the globe who are creating the best VR experiences available.'

The group, its founders claim, will 'foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders in VR around the world and make education and training material available to the public. Working groups will be organised around important topics for the industry, enabling us to produce relevant research and guidance. We will also host and participate in international discussions on important topics in VR to shape the public discussion on the technology. Ultimately, the group will develop best practices and share them openly.'

It is not alone, however. As well as Razer's OSVR group, OpenGL and Vulkan creator Khronos Group has announced its own project to help encourage standardisation in a market which is currently beset by a critical lack of cross-platform compatibility. Dubbed the Open VR Standards Initiative, the group's aim is to create cross-vendor and royalty-free standards for everything from head tracking to VR runtime integration, and it counts AMD, ARM, Intel, Nvidia, Oculus, Epic Games, Google, Razer, and Valve among its partners on the project.

'Virtual reality's success is dependent on a large thriving market of hardware where casual and professional consumers alike can take their pick without worry of fragmentation and incompatibility,' claimed Christopher Mitchell, OSVR business lead at Razer, of the Open VR Standards Initiative. 'This has been OSVR’s vision from day one and we are thrilled to be a part of the Khronos Group in order to push standardisation of interfaces across the industry.'

More information on the GVRA is available from the official website, and on the OVRSI from the Khronos Group's official press release.
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