VR Industry Forum to present first draft of its industry guidelines at IBC 2017

Guidelines will enable delivery of high quality VR experiences, emphasizing interoperability in an open ecosystem

Amsterdam. September 13, 2017 – The Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF) – formed to further the widespread availability of high quality audiovisual VR experiences for the benefit of consumers – today announced it will be presenting a draft of its guidelines at IBC 2017.

The guidelines, available at vr-if.org/guidelines, will be discussed by VRIF at a business supersession co-hosted with the DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF) on Saturday, September 16th at 5pm in E102 at the RAI in Amsterdam. Attendees will be given an introduction to the guidelines and the role interoperability plays in driving a VR business ecosystem.

The initial release of the VRIF guidelines focus on the delivery ecosystem of 360° video with three degrees of freedom (3DOF) and will include: documentation of cross-industry interoperability points (based on ISO MPEG’s Omnidirectional MediA Format (OMAF)); best industry practices for production of VR360 content, with an emphasis on human factors such as motion sickness; and security considerations for VR360 streaming, including user privacy and content protection.

“What is so unique about these guidelines is they take the interests of all ecosystem participants into account and focus on important, but often overlooked factors,” said Paul Higgs of Huawei, Chair of the Guidelines WG and board member of VRIF. “The VR industry is starting to move away from proprietary systems and toward large scale solutions, and the Guidelines facilitate that transition.”

VRIF, which has quickly grown to 40 members, liaises with Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) such as MPEG, 3GPP, DVB, and ITU to ensure any gaps or possible overlaps are identified in the guidelines.

“VRIF members representing all segments of the VR industry have contributed to developing the guidelines that cover VR production, delivery and consumption aspects. They provide best practice recommendations which enables the industry to achieve interoperability,” said Higgs. “The purpose of presenting a draft of the guidelines at IBC is to give the public a chance to review them and identify any issues, so that we can incorporate as much relevant information as possible.”

At the joint VRIF/DASH-IF supersession on September 16, representatives will address various topics in the industry including VR content production recommendations and the need for standardization of distribution methods for immersive content. VRIF members will be on hand to answer any questions at the end of the session and available throughout IBC for additional discussions about the role VRIF plays in the industry and the benefits of membership.

“We have been working very hard over the past year and are eager to present our work at IBC, which in recent years especially has become the place to be for new media and streaming industry professionals,” said Rob Koenen, President of VRIF. “After we have finalized the initial guidelines, we will continue our work to keep pushing the industry forward and expect to look at the next generation of immersive experiences, beyond 3DOF, such as 6DOF, interactivity, higher audio-visual quality, etc.”

The VRIF guidelines will be released at CES 2018, marking one year since the launch of the organization. They will be supported by interoperability test streams that enable rapid and independent development and deployments of VR services based on VRIF’s guidelines.

Membership and further information about the VRIF can be found at www.vr-if.org.

About VRIF

VRIF is composed of a broad range of participants from sectors including, but not limited to, the movie, television, mobile, broadcast and interactive gaming ecosystems, comprising content creators, content distributors, consumer electronics manufacturers, professional equipment manufacturers and technology companies. Membership in VRIF is open to all parties that support its mission. VRIF will rely on Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to develop relevant standards, and will seek to establish liaisons with such SDOs.