Khronos Establishes Exploratory Group for 3D Commerce Standards and Guidelines

Leading retailers, manufacturers and technology companies propose collaboration on open standards to enable cross-vendor creation and deployment of photorealistic 3D virtual products; Interested companies are invited to join Exploratory Group to provide input and feedback

Portland, OR — April 24, 2019 — 6:00 AM Pacific — The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of leading companies creating advanced 3D standards, today announces the formation of an Exploratory Group to investigate the creation of standards and guidelines for the production and distribution of real-time 3D representations of products, so they can be experienced realistically and consistently across all platforms and devices, such as mobile, Web and Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) solutions. To gather industry input, the Exploratory Group is open to any company without cost or IP licensing obligations. If there is industry support, Khronos will form a Working Group to enable any interested company to join Khronos and participate under its proven multi-company governance process. Those interested in finding out more and joining the Exploratory Group are invited to visit the 3D Commerce Landing Page.


According to an April 2019 Gartner press release, "by 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in AR online and in-store" and "46 percent of retailers planned to deploy either AR or VR solutions to meet customer service experience requirements."[1] Gartner states that "the impact of AR or VR in retail can be transformative", and that "retailers can use AR as an extension of the brand experience to engage customers in immersive environments and drive revenue…Additionally, AR can be used outside the store after a sale to increase customer satisfaction and improve loyalty."[2]

With 3D poised to grow as a new shopping medium for product manufacturers, retailers and advertising platforms, key players in the industry are now looking at how to scale production and achieve broad distribution for virtual products with optimized industry workflows to minimize costs. The leading global retail brands and technology companies proposing this initiative include 3XR, 4D Pipeline, Adobe, Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, Deloitte Consulting, Facebook, Ferguson Ventures, Google, Houzz, IKEA, JD.com, Lowe's, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Pinterest, Qualcomm, Samsung, Shopify, Target, ThreeKit, Topline Furniture, Unity Technologies, UX3D, Wayfair, and Williams-Sonoma Inc./Outward.

The aim of this initiative is to enable 3D virtual products to be experienced realistically and consistently across a variety of endpoints, including search results, social feeds, ad units, in apps, on e-commerce websites, on mobile AR devices and VR/AR headsets, and on in-store displays. Standard specifications and guidelines would align and streamline interactions between retailers and manufacturers working with technology providers, content creators, and technology platforms distributing and displaying virtual products.
This initiative would also leverage and guide the evolution of existing Khronos standards such as glTF for transmission of photorealistic 3D assets, WebGL for interactive 3D applications on the Web, Vulkan for driving high-performance interactive 3D graphics, and OpenXR for enabling AR and VR applications that are portable across multiple vendor platforms.

Industry Quotes

"Building visualization techniques driven by 3D is increasingly a vital element of creating the best possible experience for shoppers, as it provides an invaluable way to explore beautiful imagery with context and authenticity," said Shrenik Sadalgi, Chair of the 3D Commerce Exploratory Group & Director of Next at Wayfair. "As we continue to transform the way people shop for their homes, we believe that 3D will be ubiquitous in the coming years and that it is imperative to standardize 3D content so it can be exchanged effectively and experienced consistently."

"The expanding ability for consumers to visualize products in their home, true to their actual size, is improving trust and confidence in online shopping. High-quality 3D content is the foundation of great XR experiences, and it is vital that industry leaders collaborate on standardization to maximize accessibility. We are thrilled to be taking on this challenge as a part of the 3D Commerce Exploratory Committee and encourage you to join us," said Mike Festa, CEO at 3XR, Inc.

"We're at an inflection point, where 3D visualization technologies initially developed for gaming and visual effects are beginning to transform the retail experience. At Adobe, we're committed to empowering designers with the tools and platforms to deliver the immersive content that consumers increasingly demand. This is an industry-wide transition, and we are delighted to be working with the 3D Commerce Group and Khronos Group to jointly define the standards required to make immersive content ubiquitous," said Ross McKegney, Director, Adobe Dimension.

"Data standardization, interoperability, and consistency is getting increasingly more important," said Henrik Edström, Sr Software Architect, Graphics Technology at Autodesk. "We are excited to be part of this effort to streamline the content creation and distribution pipelines, and to make the experiences of real-time and photorealistic 3D content more consistent across vendors and platforms".

"Dassault Systèmes, with its HomeByMe online 3D experience and numerous other solutions, is committed to helping brand retailers reach consumers," said Juba Hadjali, 3DVIA CTO at Dassault Systèmes. "3D is the next mass market media and we are happy to contribute to the standardization effort."

"The massive shift to 3D technology will completely transform the retail industry and redefine how people shop," said Allan Cook, managing director and digital reality business leader, Deloitte Consulting, LLP. "We're committed to collaborating on this initiative to develop standards that will help companies drive business in a faster, more impactful way."

"3D enables a completely new way to shop for your home, and we have been focused on applying these technologies for some time with over one million products shoppable in AR," said Sally Huang, Head of Visual Technologies at Houzz. "We are excited to work with the group to spearhead 3D content standardization across AR/VR and other immersive experiences."

"IKEA has been working on large scale photoreal 3D for over 10 years and has been promoting open standards and collaboration all along. We are excited to contribute to this group to make the use of 3D easier and faster to meet the demands of our customers," said Martin Enthed, IKEA Communications AB.

"As China's largest retailer, JD.com is committed to incorporating innovative technologies such as 3D and AR/VR in real-world application scenarios," said Tony Tan, Head of AR/VR at JD.com. "We have already seen the tremendous benefit that these technologies can have on improving consumer engagement and building customer loyalty. We look forward to contributing to this important initiative as we strive to transform the shopping experience for customers across the industry."

"Industry cooperation throughout the creation and deployment pipeline for digital product models will help scale the market for 3D capable tools, cloud processing and client platforms - including AR and VR devices," said David Weinstein, director of Virtual Reality at NVIDIA. "NVIDIA enthusiastically supports the 3D Commerce initiative at Khronos and will work to help maximize the project's benefit to the industry."

"At Pinterest, we're excited by the possibilities 3D technologies can bring to people looking for inspiration for their everyday lives. As we build a visual discovery engine, we believe standards will help bring that 3D-powered inspiration to the widest possible audience," said Chuck Rosenberg, Head of Computer Vision, Pinterest.

"Shopify is deeply committed to making AR experiences readily available to everyday shoppers," said Daniel Beauchamp, Head of Shopify Virtual and Augmented Reality. "We're excited to propel the accessibility of 3D models, for both big and small businesses, to lower the barrier for entrepreneurs to be able to sell using Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and 3D experiences."

"This Khronos Group initiative will be fruitful for both technology providers, like ThreeKit, and brands and retailers all over the world," said Ben Houston, CTO of ThreeKit, Inc. "We are optimistic that a unified standard will help focus innovation efforts on broadening the scope of features and functionality of such standards and eliminate the need to support non-standard formats. Brands and retailers will be able to rely on a consistent asset experience to support their omnichannel strategy."

"Top-Line is excited to contribute to a future where 3D is as ubiquitous as the smartphone," said Felix Wuang, CEO, Top-Line Furniture.

"The future of retail and brand advertising is immersive," said Tony Parisi, Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation at Unity Technologies. "This effort promises to create a global infrastructure for consumers to discover and explore products by interacting with them virtually before purchasing, via real-time 3D graphics and virtual and augmented reality. Unity is excited to be part of this initiative to build the future of commerce in 3D."

"We feel honored to support this initiative to work toward standards that will enable 3D assets to be consistently photo-realistically rendered in real-time on any device," said Norbert Nopper, Managing Director at UX3D.

"At Williams-Sonoma, Inc., we firmly believe that technology and innovation drive business," said Laura Alber, President and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. "Through our acquisition of Outward Inc., we have been at the forefront of creating next-generation shopping experiences for our customers online and in-store. And we are thrilled to be working among this group of innovators in spearheading the transformative shift to 3D visualization in retail."

About the Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an open industry consortium of over 140 leading hardware and software companies creating advanced, royalty-free, acceleration standards for 3D graphics, Augmented and Virtual Reality, vision processing and machine learning. Khronos standards include Vulkan®, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenGL® SC, WebGL™, SPIR-V™, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, COLLADA™, OpenXR™ and glTF™. Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge accelerated platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.

Khronos, EGL, glTF, NNEF, OpenVG, OpenVX, OpenXR, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, Vulkan and WebGL are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

For more information, contact:

Alex Crabb
Khronos Group Press Contact, Caster Communications Inc.
alex@castercomm.com
+1 401-792-7080

Tony Parisi
Unity Technologies
tonyp@unity3d.com

John Costello
Wayfair Press Contact
pr@wayfair.com
+1 857-559-4446

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