Standards for Using Augmented Reality in Information Products Are Underway at OASIS

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Comtech, Huawei, Oracle, PTC, SAP, and others lead the way in developing frameworks and streamlined processes for augmented reality-enabled technical documents

When you're guiding a user through a task, if the content isn't delivered in a clear, concise, and accurate way, the advantages of Augmented Reality will be lost.

The OASIS open standards consortium is calling on technical communicators and Augmented Reality (AR) specialists to help define the way AR can be used in technical communication and information products. Standards developed by the new OASIS Augmented Reality for Information Products (ARIP) Technical Committee will make it easier to use AR for software and hardware instructions, training programs, medical procedures, environmental regulations, functional specifications, social media, and a broad range of other materials.

"The ubiquity of the Internet, combined with information derived from big data sources, has dramatically expanded the scope for AR as a utility. And yet, currently no standards exist to guide usage policies and conventions," observed industry analyst, Steffen Sorrell of Juniper Research. "Demand for AR-enabled information products will increase as policies are agreed on, guidance becomes readily available, and the choice of interoperable tools increases."

ARIP was initiated by Huawei out of a desire to integrate the benefits of AR into their own technical communications. "Technical communicators have an important role to fill within Augmented Reality. To get beyond impressive demos, we need AR guidelines and standards specifically for use in information products," said Rhonda Truitt, co-chair of ARIP Technical Committee. "When you're guiding a user through a task, if the content isn't delivered in a clear, concise, and accurate way, the advantages of AR will be lost."

The use of AR is gaining momentum among all types of communicators, including technical writers, information architects, instructional designers, illustrators, usability professionals, trainers, and e-Learning developers.

"Your audience does not have to search for content. AR allows information to be automatically pushed into a viewer’s line of sight, as they need it and in the context they need it. I like to call this delivery of 'searchless' content," explains Farhad Patel of Huawei, co-chair of the OASIS ARIP Technical Committee. "ARIP standards will help AR be game changing and disruptive in the world of technical communication and dramatically improve user experience and convenience."

Through use of a common specification for technical communication, content owners and enterprises will benefit from industry support, interoperability, and reuse of community contributions and a streamlined process for AR-enabled content development. At the same time, through collaboration, content owners can address the specific requirements of their business or industry. Members of the ARIP Technical Committee will provide a flexible and structured framework for specifications that can be rapidly implemented at a basic level to enable widespread participation.

Organizations represented on the ARIP Technical Committee have a strong voice in decisions that will impact the AR community. ARIP connects members in a meaningful way with potential partners, customers, and suppliers. Additional information about ARIP, including how to join the Technical Committee, can be found at https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/arip.

Support for ARIP

"We are pleased with this initiative. It promises to bring standards to the Augmented Reality environment," said JoAnn Hackos, President, Comtech Services. “We believe it is critical that AR supports structured authoring and XML-based content that is focused on being standards compliant."

"Visualizing information in context with the real world can boost to workplace performance, but also presents technical communicators who design Augmented Reality-enabled experiences many new challenges," said Christine Perey, President of PEREY Research & Consulting and founder and chair of the grassroots community focusing on reducing barriers to open and interoperable Augmented Reality. "The OASIS ARIP TC will identify and seek to address the specific needs of technical communicators, content architects and designers who will play a critical role in the successful adoption of AR."

About OASIS

OASIS is a non-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for content technologies, digital experiences, security, privacy, cloud computing, IoT, and other areas. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users, and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 65+ countries.

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Carol Geyer
OASIS
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