X3D and Augmented Reality

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Calendar: Meetings and Events


Our monthly teleconference meeting for X3D and Mixed/Augmented Reality is usually: On 3rd Wednesday of a month, at 12am (00:00) US Pacific / 9am Germany / 5pm Korea

The schedule is subject to change based on the time zone for most expected attendees. The meeting is held on Web3D Consortium teleconference line.

Our next teleconference meeting is: TBA




The Mixed and Augmented Reality (MAR) Working Group focuses on utilizing and extending X3D capabilities to support augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) applications.

Discussion. These X3D AR discussions were initially held as part of a special interest group. Now that we have determined sufficient exists to modify the X3D Specification, this effort is moving forward by forming the X3D AR Working Group.


Planned goals of MAR WG include:

  • Collect requirements and describe typical use cases for using X3D in AR/MR applications
  • Produce and propose X3D components for AR/MR scenes and applications
  • Produce sample AR/MR applications using X3D to demonstrate how this functionality can work correctly


  • Investigate state-of-the-art technologies related to X3D and AR/MR to collect requirements and use cases
    • Archive and distribute collected requirements and use cases through MAR WG wiki page
  • Hold regular meetings and workshops to motivate discussions and editing of AR/MR related X3D specification proposals
    • Regular meetings will be held through teleconferencing and workshops will be planned through regular meetings
  • Promote X3D in AR/MR field by developing and distributing promotional materials of AR applications based on X3D
    • Promotional materials include sample applications, video clips, documents, images distributed on the web

Deliverables and Timeline

Plans for Merging X3D AR Proposals describes our detailed path forward through this challenging space.


  • Anita Havele
  • Don Brutzman
  • Gerard J. Kim
  • Gun Lee
  • Leonard Daly
  • Myeongwon Lee
  • Oliver Neubauer
  • Sabine Webel
  • Timo Engelke
  • Yvonne Jung

Working Group Meeting Routine

Regular meetings are held monthly via teleconference. Participation is open to everyone via the Web3D teleconference line.

Non-members can request access information for this call, or Join Web3D for full member priveleges!

Meeting agenda and minutes are also distributed on the x3d-public@web3d.org mailing list and archived online.

Augmented Reality Roadmap for X3D

The Augmented Reality Roadmap for X3D is a description document charting shared strategies and our way forward.

History and Background Information

Web3D Consortium formed a special interest group on AR initiatives in July 2009 worked to help create the AR Technology Road Map.

Several Web3D Consortium member projects showcase the feasibility of AR in X3D, particularly X3DOM open source produced by Fraunhofer IGD.

  • X3DOM can serve as an out of the box, standards-based solution for AR developers.
  • X3D and X3DOM continue to improve scripting options for X3D with HTML5 and this has good promise for AR applications.
  • X3DOM is being considered for potential standardization in a Mobile and/or Augmented Reality (AR) profile for X3D.

Our Web3D Korea Chapter members from ETRI are working on Mixed Reality visualization in X3D.

  • The Consortium as been working closely within W3C HTML5 WG to align our standards for 3D visualization on the Web.

Additional details are available at:

Web3D Consortium is also engaged with the AR Standards Community, OGC, Khronos and W3C organizations for applying and adapting X3D.

  • Web3D Consortium will be starting an AR working group in March 2011 to develop a roadmap for AR standardization. We encourage your participation.
  • The technology discussions and meetings will be conducted publicly so that the widest possible comment and reaction can be considered from the Community. Feedback from this community will help X3D quickly and stably adopt new technologies to provide ongoing archival value for all 3D graphics.
  • Meanwhile Web3D Members still retain important membership rights of proposing significant new technology and considering patented technologies within a "safe haven" prior to public release.

X3D Mobile Profile slideset from last summer's Mobile X3D ISO Workshop has also been linked: how Mobile, HTML5 and possibly Augmented Reality (AR) components can be aligned together.

Many new Web3D capabilities are becoming available. There has been no better time to discuss X3D technologies and also join the Web3D Consortium. Get involved in these early discussions to create the AR Technology Road Map. We look forward to your participation.

Summary of Old AR Proposals

Developing X3D AR Specification - Proposals

The working group has reviewed the existing proposals and have summarized in Comparison of X3D AR Proposals. Based on this comparison, the working group is now preparing Plans for Merging X3D AR Proposals. The working group is looking for public feedback on the unified AR proposal that captures essential features for MR/AR visualization. The unified AR proposal for public review can be found here.

X3D Earth Working Group

The X3D Earth Working Group has expanded and refined a proposal by Dr. Myeong Won Lee for a new GpsSensor node. Due to several overlapping technical issues, the group has asked to collaborate with the Augmented Reality group on final design for this node.

Interoperability with other AR and Web Standards

Several discussions at the Web3D Conference, SIGGRAPH and ISO-SC24 meeting about the recent AR standards developments continue to improve and refine our strategy on interoperability with other standards.

Establishing common implementations and examples is important to demonstrate successful interoperable capabilities for the spec. Continued collaboration and reaching out to other AR standards groups is essential. Our common goal remains maximum interoperability with all Web standards.

  • W3C Augmented Reality Community Group
  • AR Standards Community Group
  • ISO-SC24

The recent work in the Web3D MAR WG and the realization that the Current status of AR content models is not comprehensive, the ISO Standards Committee - SC24, which administers X3D review as an ISO standard has established a new Working Group for Augmented and Mixed Reality.

This Group conducted a survey of the current state of the art in AR/MR standardization, Here is a summary of the main findings.

  • A need for making clear and precise definition of terms
  • A need for a reference architecture with the following feature
  • Separation of the content and browser/player/application
  • Extendible and general enough to accommodate new future technologies (e.g. display devices, tracking algorithms, sensors, etc.)
  • Defined at the right abstraction level to be platform/vendor independent
  • Clear interface definition among the subsystems
  • A proposal to develop a protocol between AR/MR engine and the object tracking/recognition subsystem independently from the algorithms used
  • Reusing of existing standards as much as possible (see below)
  • A content model based on the underlying reference architecture that is
  • Comprehensive (e.g. scene/world model, interaction, rich augmentation methods and styling options, representation of extensive types of physical real world objects)
  • A need for rich and sophisticated scene/world model
  • X3D-based approach seems promising for providing a sophisticated world model (scene graph structure) and many media objects for augmentation. A proposal to extend X3D standards
  • A need for representation of sensors and physical objects
  • A proposal for a merged abstraction of physical objects and separate sensors as “objects with virtual sensors” and extend virtual sensors of X3D
  • A need for sophisticated representation of “places of interests (POI)”
  • A proposal to use and extend OGC/KML standards
  • A need for extensive styling for 2D/3D information
  • A proposal to use and extend HTML 5
  • A need to abstract AR/MR interaction behaviors
  • Complicated behaviors to be handled by scripts and DOM like approach
  • A proposal to extend X3DOM for this purpose
  • Needs other supporting functionalities
  • Inclusion and specification of real world capture camera/sensors
  • Moving texture/background functionality for video see through AR
  • Handling of depth data and occlusion effects
  • Specification of virtual/real light sources and rendering methods

Based on these findings the group proposes to derive a AR content model as an extension of a virtual world with provisions for representing the physically-sensed objects. The provisions refer to ways to specify the physical augmentation “targets” without specific sensor information and ways to (intuitively) tie or associate them to their virtual counterparts. This will result in vendor independence, use convenience and support for extensibility.

The ISO AR standardization proposal recommends

  • Merging HTML and X3D (X3dom (Declarative 3D) for abstract content components for 2D and 3D Augmentation.
  • The OGC and K-Mart for describing POIs and sensed physical objects.
  • The Scripting approach for non-standard complex content behaviors and the use of remote cloud services.

Current technical work within the Web3D MAR WG includes harmonizing these proposals for best fitting AR capabilities into X3D scenes. This work will be formally written up as the Augmented Reality (AR) Component for the X3D Specification.

Participation and Liaisons

  • Christine Perry's AR Standardization Community group
  • Other partnerships can also be considered as appropriate.

Of interest is that Web3D Consortium Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy insists on open, royalty free (RF) specifications. These coexist effectively with the Web Architecture and many different business models.