Many people don’t actually know who VESA is, but they’re responsible for a lot of the display standards that we use every day. They’re responsible for the most crucial digital display standards that have existed in the past and even into the future including VGA, DVI, LVDS and DisplayPort. The extremely popular USB Type-C uses DisplayPort alt-mode to pass video signals through the new universal USB connector, this also makes VESA uniquely positioned as a technology leader that should be thinking about where AR and VR are going. The popularity of AR and VR was evident all around CES at the start of this year and the presence that it had even at the VESA booth was undeniable and is in part what drew VESA to move towards exploring more about AR and VR.
DisplayPort as a standard has always been at the forefront of supporting the latest resolutions and refresh rates. DisplayPort was even the first to support 4K, 5K a,nd 8K resolutions. So, it comes as no surprise that they are interested in how they can enable VR and AR technologies with their own Special Interest Group (SIG). While this AR/VR SIG doesn’t necessarily have a specific purpose, when you consider the companies that are members of VESA, you can imagine that having a universal standard for AR and VR signaling that meets everyone’s needs could actually be a huge benefit for everyone.
The organization says that they are creating this standards SIG because they see that the market is growing rapidly and that fragmentation within different standards could cause issues down the road that they believe they could avoid. This SIG would investigate the issues with current VR and AR technologies and explore how their members can work together to create standards that meet everyone’s current and future needs.
Because eDP (embedded DisplayPort) is also part of their portfolio of technologies, VESA can be uniquely positioned to help drive the high pixel fill rates that are going to be needed for high resolution and high frame rate displays needed for future VR and AR solutions. By potentially introducing their own, usually royalty-free, standards VESA can help to reduce confusion about compatibility or interoperability between different technologies. Analogix, one of VESA’s member companies has proposed the AR/VR SIG as they are intimately involved in the smartphone industry and likely see a need for more standardization across smartphone VR just in their own customer base. However, we could see the needs for standardization across all different types of AR and VR devices make it easier to use devices cross-platform and increase the utility of different HMDs. Additionally, Analogix and VESA see that there isn’t enough talk about what AR and VR HMD makers need out of the VESA technologies in order to make the user experience better.
The VESA AR and VR SIG is already being commissioned with certain responsibilities, including:
- Establish the hierarchical structure for AR/VR services, including physical connections, data transfer protocols, software drivers and application layers
- Define the basic communication data structure and communication channel between the source and sink devices
- Study the related technologies and algorithms, and standardize them to enable economic and efficient implementation
- Suggest any changes to existing VESA standards that may be needed for better AR/VR support
- Work with other standards bodies to merge suggested changes into related standards
VESA are hoping to help the hundreds of AR and VR companies out there to establish standards for AR and VR that will make both software and hardware development easier and more predictable with better compatibility and user experiences. The VESA AR and VR SIG is currently still open to interested companies and will likely expand as things move forward.
Disclosure: This is a guest post not produced by the UploadVR staff. No compensation was exchanged for the creation of this content. Anshel’s firm, Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analyst firms, provides or has provided research, analysis, advising, and/or consulting to many high-tech companies in the industry or related to this article. I do not hold any equity positions with any companies cited in this column.