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Chinese industry alliance issues Virtual Reality standards under guidance of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

The Virtual Reality Industry Alliance (IVRA) in China issued standards for virtual reality devices on April 6, under the under the guidance of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). IVRA is an industry alliance, established in March with the support of MIIT, bringing together a number of mainstream manufacturers and research institutions in the field of virtual reality. 

As VR stands on the cusp of taking off in a big way, standardisation and cross-platform inter-operability is becoming increasingly important. 

These standards titled, ‘General Specifications for Virtual Reality Headset Displays’ (rough translation) will be officially implemented on July 1 this year. A IVRA Committee for International Cooperation has also been formally established. It would be responsible for strengthening ties between the China VR industry and the global market. 

The China Electronic Technology Standardisation Research Institute, University of Science and Technology Beijing and major alliance members from the industry and academia  participated in drafting the standards. A total of 107 proposals were received, of which 29 were adopted directly and an additional 56 after revisions. Parameters were further refined according to the input of MIIT before the standard was finalised and released.

The standards cover the resolution, system latency, field of view, tracking system etc. of the various types of display devices  and can be used to regulate and guide all kinds of virtual reality headset display device design, production, testing and experimentation.

Zhang Feng, Chief Engineer of MIIT, spoke about Virtual Reality (VR) involving the integration of multimedia, sensor, display, Internet, artificial intelligence and other technologies. He believes that China's virtual reality industry as a whole is still in its infancybut he pointed out that the release will standardise the virtual reality hardware market, accelerate commercialisation and help promote development of the industry.

Zhang Feng put forward four points to speed up the promotion and standardisation of virtual reality: First, optimising the industrial development process, focusing on the high end of the virtual reality industry. The second is to strengthen the core technology of the industry and developing the virtual reality industry chain, focusing on supporting the development of core devices, the development of virtual reality modeling and simulation, enhance human-computer interaction, and constantly improving the hardware and software.  

Third would be to promote the applications of VR in key areas, to achieve maturity in video games and to carry out demonstration projects in manufacturing, education, health and cultivating a new business model.  The fourth point is to actively participate in international markets, introducing international advanced technology and high-end intellectual resources, strengthening cooperation with international enterprises, while leveraging China's strong manufacturing base and industrial capacity.

Global situation

In December 2016, Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE (HTC Vive is also a member of the Chinese IVRA), Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and Sony Interactive Entertainment announced the creation of a non-profit organization of international headset manufacturers, the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA).

GVRA is usupposed to develop and share best practices for industry and foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has a Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Working Group.

Featured image: QSO4YOU/ CC BY-SA 2.0

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