Virtual reality equipment and systems - Market, technology and standards requirements

IEC TR 63308:2021 discusses the market of virtual reality (VR) and the technical domains pertaining to a VR system. This document provides clarity on how existing standards can be used and highlights further requirements for standards within the scope of TC 100.

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IEC TR 63308

Edition 1.0 2021-07

Virtual reality equipment and systems – Market, technology and standards

IEC TR 63308:2021-07(en)

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IEC TR 63308


Edition 1.0 2021-07



Virtual reality equipment and systems – Market, technology and standards





ICS 31.120; 33.160.99 ISBN 978-2-8322-9945-6

  Warning! Make sure that you obtained this publication from an authorized distributor.

® Registered trademark of the International Electrotechnical Commission

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– 2 – IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021
1 Scope . 6
2 Normative references . 6
3 Terms and definitions . 6
4 Markets for VR equipment and systems . 6
4.1 Overview of VR markets . 6
4.2 Customer requirements . 7
4.3 Typical VR ecosystem . 7
5 Typical use cases of VR . 8
6 Technologies of VR . 9
6.1 Technical domains of VR equipment and systems . 9
6.2 Factors for display quality of VR equipment and systems . 10
6.3 Visual comfort considerations of VR equipment and systems . 11
6.3.1 General . 11
6.3.2 Binocular disparity . 11
6.3.3 Screen door effect . 11
6.3.4 Motion-to-photon latency . 12
6.3.5 Blue light . 12
7 Related work of other SDOs . 12
7.1 IEC TC 110 . 12
7.2 ISO/IEC JTC 1 . 13
7.2.1 JTC1 . 13
7.2.2 ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 24 . 13
7.2.3 ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 . 14
7.2.4 ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 36 . 15
7.3 ITU . 16
8 Potential standardization items in TC 100 . 16
8.1 Expected standard framework for VR systems . 16
8.2 Possible new work items . 17
Bibliography . 19

Figure 1 – VR ecosystem . 7
Figure 2 – VR technical domains . 10
Figure 3 – VR standard framework . 17

Table 1 – Typical use cases of VR . 8
Table 2 – Existing and future standards of TC 110 . 13
Table 3 – Existing standards of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 24 . 14
Table 4 – Existing and future standards of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 . 15
Table 5 – Existing standards of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 36 . 16

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IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021 – 3 –


1) The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a worldwide organization for standardization comprising
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9) Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this IEC Publication may be the subject of patent
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IEC TR 63308 has been prepared by IEC technical committee 100: Audio, video and multimedia
systems and equipment. It is a Technical Report.
The text of this Technical Report is based on the following documents:
DTR Report on voting
100/3484/DTR 100/3519/RVDTR

Full information on the voting for its approval can be found in the report on voting indicated in
the above table.
The language used for the development of this Technical Report is English.
This document was drafted in accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, and developed in
accordance with ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1 and ISO/IEC Directives, IEC Supplement, available
at The main document types developed by IEC are
described in greater detail at

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– 4 – IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021
The committee has decided that the contents of this document will remain unchanged until the
stability date indicated on the IEC website under in the data related to the
specific document. At this date, the document will be
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.

IMPORTANT – The "colour inside" logo on the cover page of this document indicates that it
contains colours which are considered to be useful for the correct understanding of its
contents. Users should therefore print this document using a colour printer.

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IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021 – 5 –
Virtual reality (VR) is an interactive computer-generated experience, which allows the user to
feel he is in a virtual world where he can interact in and control a virtual environment. The
interaction between the user and the virtual world is mainly through auditory and visual stimuli,
but it can also include other types of sensory feedback, such as haptic technology.
This Technical Report focuses on VR equipment and systems that are within the scope of
TC 100. Firstly, the ecosystem of VR is described, based on a brief view of market trends and
analysis of some typical use cases of VR equipment and systems. Then technologies used in
VR equipment and systems are listed, in order to introduce a C-P-N-D (Content, Product,
Network and Device) based VR system model. Finally, after studying the standardization
activities of related standards developing organizations (SDOs), some suggestions are given,
including potential standardization topics within the scope of TC 100.

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– 6 – IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021

1 Scope
This document discusses the market of virtual reality (VR) and the technical domains pertaining
to a VR system. This document provides clarity on how existing standards can be used and
highlights further requirements for standards within the scope of TC 100.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following
• IEC Electropedia: available at
• ISO Online browsing platform: available at
head mounted device
type of computer display device or monitor which is worn on the head or is built in as part of a
virtual reality
simulation of the physical presence of the user, which is primarily experienced through two of
the five senses such as sight and sound, in an environment produced with the help of a
computer, enabling the user to interact with this environment
4 Markets for VR equipment and systems
4.1 Overview of VR markets
In the 1980s, the arrival of stereoscopic '3D' games such as Virtuality and Virtual Boy drew
attention to virtual display techniques. Even some films, like Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity,
and books, such as Snow Crash, demonstrated the powerful potential of VR. But the technology
at the time could not match people's imagination or their expectations; poor image quality,
significant latency and high device prices made the first trials of VR products fail in the end.
Since 2014, there has been a second wave of VR technology, and, like most new technologies,
VR has had a rocky – but predicable start.

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IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021 – 7 –
According to the predictions of business intelligence, the market of VR hardware will continue
to grow. In 2020, cheaper and high-quality VR headsets rolled out to the market, improving the
quality in virtual world experiences. In 2021, the same trend will continue [1] .
4.2 Customer requirements
Compared with other media, such as film, which intent is also to show a 'real' world to the
audience, customers have additional special requirements when it comes to VR experiences.
These requirements are similar to other 3D techniques.
– Immersive: Immersive is the basic feature for VR equipment and systems. VR needs to
engage both the body and the mind of the viewer: to feel real and to respond as if it was
– Believable: VR equipment and systems need to give the feeling of complete belief in the
virtual world. This can be achieved through consistent use of logic, physics, and narrative.
If the experience is not consistent with user expectations for that virtual world, then the
illusion of virtual reality will disappear.
– Interactive: VR equipment and systems can encourage the interaction between the user and
the virtual world. As the user moves around, the virtual world needs to move with them. This
is a quite unique experience compared with watching a 3D film, the latter cannot provide
any interactive experience.
– Response time: Any delay will make the user uncomfortable with the illusion of the virtual
world. A powerful processor is required in order to deal with high quality 3D computer
graphics. The processor should be powerful enough to provide a believable, interactive,
alternative world that changes in real time.
4.3 Typical VR ecosystem
Figure 1 shows a typical VR ecosystem.

Figure 1 – VR ecosystem
A VR ecosystem normally consists of image capturing, content producing, content distribution
and displaying, which explains how users can reach VR contents.
Analysing a VR ecosystem can be helpful to focus on the audio and video equipment and
systems, and other related technologies that are within the scope of TC 100, in order to conduct
further studies, so that the standardization gap can be filled.
Numbers in square brackets refer to the bibliography.

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5 Typical use cases of VR
In the past 30 years, VR equipment and systems have been used by scientists, doctors, dentists,
engineers, architects, archaeologists, and the military, and have been well known to common
In 4.2, the key unique features of VR, which made VR one of the preferred solutions in many
specific use cases, are listed.
Table 1 – Typical use cases of VR
Used area
Design and Airbus uses VR programmes to carry out verifications in a virtual space, which can save up
manufacture to 80 % time compared with traditional methods.
Boeing used VR systems in designing the shape and architecture of the B-777.
Rolls Royce uses VR technology to observe the detail of engines in its developing steps.
Neusoft uses VR systems to assemble and debug a whole manufacture system without
establishing real plant and equipment.
VR systems are used to estimate and calibrate the assembly procedure in Audi vehicles.
JLIANCO uses VR systems to check the failure of boilers, in order to ensure standard
operation and reduce maintenance costs.
Education IBM and Google developed VR systems which can allow teachers and students to create a
virtual world for education, in a vivid and interesting way.
VRSCHOOL used VR to set up a VR classroom which is used in physics, astronomy and
biology experiments.
JD used VR systems to train the delivery men for the sorting of goods.
NASA used VR systems to train their astronauts on how to perform spacewalking, and
what it is like to work with tools in space. The VR systems also simulated a zero-gravity
environment in outer space.
Art and VR was used to produce a film to introduce Luoyang ancient city and DunHuang MoGao
entertainment grottoes in the 2019 Smart China Expo.
BNC broadcast a TV series called "Halcyon".
BBC provided VR live broadcasting for the Russian World Cup.
CCTV has been providing VR live broadcasting for the Spring Festival party since 2017. is a live broadcasting platform, it used VR technology in online live
broadcasting to give users more immersive experiences.
China built a VR theme park in Nanchang, which used VR equipment and systems to
provide immersive experiences to users.
The Forbidden City in China provided 6 VR tour plans for visitors, including a building
introduction, a cultural relic show and ancient history interactive.
Meiwu365 is a decoration design company in China, it used VR in the design and
modification process of their costumes before construction started.
The new launched VR games such as Batman: Arkham VR and Superhot VR. These are
based on games designed for normal controllers, but these versions change so many
mechanics and scenarios, that they have essentially become brand new experiences.
This information is given for the convenience of users of this document. This information does not constitute an
endorsement by IEC of the products named.

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IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021 – 9 –
Used area
Medical care Taipei Medical University used VR anatomy courses which achieved better results
compared with using traditional 2D paper material.
Japan Jikei University established a VR operation simulation system, which can give
physical feedback.
Japan Nagasaki Institute uses VR to establish recovery treatment plan for patients,
including biological status simulation and movement positioning.
A drug addiction treatment centre in China used VR for psychotherapy purposes for
addicts to help them get rid of the effects of drugs.
Applied VR was used by some hospitals to release the pain and anxiety of patients during
treatment and operation.
Shenzhen People Hospital in China used a VR+5G system to perform remote
biliopancreatic surgery together with an expert group in Beijing, with a physical distance of
over 1 000 km.

Besides the existing use cases listed in Table 1, VR will be used more widely in future, which
will bring more attention to this area.
6 Technologies of VR
6.1 Technical domains of VR equipment and systems
VR is an integrated technology that consists of 3D modelling, 3D display, sensor technology,
real time graphic processing, etc. The VR equipment and systems are designed to provide an
accurate, real and interactive experience to the customer.
The relationship between the different technical domains is shown in Figure 2.

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– 10 – IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021

Figure 2 – VR technical domains
6.2 Factors for display quality of VR equipment and systems
Because VR is intended to be used as a human-machine interface, the display, optical relay
and sensors on VR are important for human visual characteristics. Human factors should be
considered in this case, as follows:
a) factors affecting detection and recognition with luminance, contrast viewing distance,
binocular vision, field of view and colour;
b) geometry factors which are interpupillary distance, pupil size and eye relief;
c) tolerance of aberration such as lateral colour, line distortion and field curvature.
For satisfying human factors, the ideal display for VR should have the following attributes:
d) wide FOV (field of view);
e) small display size with very high resolution;
f) binocular display alignment;
g) high frame rate;
h) adequate luminance and wide colour;
i) low optical distortion;
j) light weight and small size.

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IEC TR 63308:2021 © IEC 2021 – 11 –
One of the immersive factors is a wide FOV. A VR FOV should ideally be the same as that of
the human eye, for example 190° to approximately 210° horizontally and 120° to approximately
135° vertically [2], [3].
The eye's ability to detect objects clearly is natural. Because pixels corresponding to an object
remain stationary in the video frame for a complete refresh cycle while the eyes move in
anticipation of motion, frame frequency of the VR display should be fast enough for the eye's
tracking system to catch smooth image movements in pixels corresponding to a moving object.
There is an adaption of human eyes under lighting conditions. Eyes have a very wide dynamic
range to see stars at night as well as very bright objects under sunny conditions. So, the
contrast range of display would be up to 1:10 , because the VR condition is very dark.
One of the functions of the eye is that the human eye can discern a variation of very similar
colours. The contrast range and distinguishing the colour difference require a wider colour
space than standard red, blue, green (sRGB) and bit rate over 8 bits.
6.3 Visual comfort considerations of VR equipment and systems
6.3.1 General
In order to give more immersive VR experiences to users, VR equipment and systems have to
satisfy the requirements of human senses. If there is a mismatch between the human senses
and VR equipment and systems, users can experience negative effects such as dizziness and
vomiting. Indeed, many users have reported visual discomfort due to the prolonged use of VR
equipment and systems. Therefore, visual comfort is one of the important elements for VR
equipment and systems.
6.3.2 Binocular disparity
Humans see an object with two eyes, and recognize stereoscopic senses through them. It is
one of the ways in which humans perceive depth. This kind of visual perception is called a
binocular disparity. The binocular disparity is caused by a pupillary distance or physical distance
between two eyes. Since there is pupillary distance, each eye sees a slightly different image of
the object. The human brain then combines the two different images and creates a stereo image.
Most of VR equipment and systems have adopted the binocular disparity. In other words, VR
equipment and systems send different visual information to each eye, respectively. Then it
makes our brain mistaking virtual reality as a real space. Therefore, for giving a VR experience
without visual discomfort to users, VR equipment and systems have to be well organized to give
appropriate images to which binocular disparity is applied.
6.3.3 Screen door effect
The screen door effect is a visual artifact caused by a display which is adopted in VR equipment
and systems. The display consists of numerous pixels, and there are some spaces between
each pixel. The space is the area which is not lit, and it could look like a black grid when users
use VR equipment and systems. This phenomenon is called the screen door effect.
The screen door effect can occur for all kinds of displays, but it is worse on VR equipment and
systems, because our eyes are so close and are looking at the display through magnifying
lenses. Therefore, the screen door effect is one of visual discomfort when using VR equipment
and systems.

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The screen door effect is less noticeable on high resolution displays where the pixels are
arranged more tightly and there is less space between pixels. As the space between pixels
reduces, the screen door effect becomes less noticeable and can practically be eliminated. In
other words, to reduce or to solve the screen door effect, VR equipment and systems need
higher resolution displays. Also, diffusion filter can be adopted in order to make the screen door
effect less noticeable.
6.3.4 Motion-to-photon latency
A variety of VR equipment and systems utilizing sensor-based technology have been released.
One of these types of sensors detects motion of the head, and it improves the immersive
experience for users. However, if there is a mismatch between motion and vision, users can
experience motion sickness and dizziness.
The motion-to-photon latency describes the length of time between the user performing a
motion and the display showing the appropriate content for that particular motion. Humans are
highly perceptive to latency. In VR equipment and systems, up to 20 ms of lag can remain
undetected by the user. That is, to prevent the visual discomfort when using VR equipment and
systems, the delay time is required to be no more than 20 ms.
6.3.5 Blue light
Viewing conditions of VR equipment and systems are totally different from other types of
displays such as TV and monitor. TVs and monitors are used under various ambient conditions.
Also, these are large size displays, so users watch TV and monitors from a relatively long
distance. On the other hand, VR equipment and systems are used under completely dark
conditions, and in very short distances, less than 5 cm from the eyes. Therefore, the optical
properties of the display which is adopted for VR equipment and systems directly affect the eye.
Regarding the optical radiation effect on the eyes, most of the ultraviolet that reaches the eye
is absorbed by the cornea or the crystalline lens. And the cornea and crystalline lens also block
infrared. The net result of light filtering by the ocular media is that the retina is exposed almost
exclusively to the visual portion of the solar spectrum. Among these visible portions, blue light
can induce photochemical damage. The phototoxicity has been studied and appears to be
concentrated in a narrow band of wavelengths centred on 435 nm ± 20 nm. Considering the
viewing environment and blue light effect, eyes would be affected by

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