Khronos Launches 3D Commerce Viewer Certification Program
Consistent display of virtual products across multiple platforms increases consumer confidence and reduces returns; Multiple viewers in the pipeline to be certified
Beaverton, OR – June 9, 2021 – Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating graphics and compute interoperability standards, announces the release of the 3D Commerce Viewer Certification Program. 3D viewers are software engines that enable users to display and interact with 3D models. Viewers are used by retailers, social media sites, and brands to create experiences on ecommerce storefronts, search engines, ad platforms, and in native applications. The Viewer Certification Program enables 3D viewers across the industry to demonstrate that they can accurately and consistently display 3D products, clearing the way for reliable 3D and AR-powered shopping across multiple platforms and devices. Amazon, Babylon.js, CGTrader, Emersya, Epic Games (Unreal Engine), Facebook (Spark AR), Google (<model-viewer> & Scene Viewer), Samsung (Internet Browser on Android), SketchFab, Unity, and UX3D (Gestaltor) have begun the process of certifying their viewers under this new program.
Previously, when artists and brands created digital products, they had no guarantee that they would appear consistently on different platforms. A 3D asset, such as a piece of furniture, is created independently from the 3D viewer used to build a consumer experience, and which viewer is used can have a major impact on what the consumer sees. Even with identical viewer settings, a chair might have looked very different in an ecommerce product listing versus a digital ad using a different viewer.
The Khronos Group’s 3D Commerce Working Group has been striving to solve this and other problems slowing the growth of 3D in retail. The Working Group’s diverse membership includes in-house content creators at major brands like IKEA, Amazon and Wayfair; 3D ecosystem and platform developers like Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Facebook, Samsung and Autodesk; and hardware manufacturers like Sony, Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD. They recognize that the solution is to promote not one particular viewer, but to enable consistent performance across all of them.
“When artists spend time perfecting a model for use in one viewer, it is both frustrating and inefficient to have to go back and edit it to display properly in every different viewer. In order for us to create an ecosystem of shared assets, artists need a common target,” says Ashleigh Miller, 3D program manager for Amazon and co-chair for Khronos Group’s Viewer Certification Task Sub Group. “Developers need to be free to choose the right viewer for their application, but artists should also have an expectation that their work is going to look as it’s supposed to.”
“The moment an asset leaves the boundaries of a controlled first-party ecosystem – say from a View-In-Room experience on a known OS on a known set of devices, to running in a 3D product ad on an unfamiliar OS on an unfamiliar device – you have had little control over how it looks,” says Shrenik Sadalgi, 3D Commerce Working Group chair and director of R&D / Wayfair Next at Wayfair. “3D virtual products are beginning to accompany every product listing, together with the traditional 2D images. It’s imperative that we give content creators an assurance of viewing accuracy inside the 3D Commerce certified ecosystem, and enable consumers to experience a product in a consistent manner. With the 3D Commerce Viewer Certification Program, we’re one step closer to expanding the ubiquity of 3D virtual products and helping make 3D more pervasive as a medium.”
The Certification Process
The Khronos 3D Commerce Viewer Certification Program is open to any organization that wishes to certify that their viewers are capable of accurately displaying 3D assets used in ecommerce. In order to become certified, vendors must demonstrate that a 3D asset will look the same in their viewer versus another certified viewer. Potential Certificants use a publicly available test package containing glTF assets to generate test images. The Khronos 3D Commerce Working Group reviews these images, using the Khronos glTF Sample Viewer as a baseline. Organizations sign a Certification Agreement and pay an annual Certification Program Fee ($1,500 for Khronos members, $2,500 for non-members) to make an unlimited number of submissions.
Successfully reviewed submissions and viewers will be added to a public Certification Registry. Certificants can use the 3D Commerce Certified trademark in association with their certified viewers. The Khronos Group is calling upon viewer and tool vendors across the 3D ecosystem to join the growing list of organizations in the pipeline to be certified.
“The more vendors that opt into viewer certification by Khronos, the more possibilities will open up for 3D assets,” says Leonard Daly, Viewer Certification Task Sub Group co-chair. “Brands and application developers will be able to adopt certified viewers with confidence, knowing that they’ll be able to bring in assets from a variety of different sources and have them perform as expected. We’ll be able to break out of this norm of having to custom-build everything, which will lower barriers to entry for all kinds of high-volume 3D use cases.”
Full details and submission resources can be found on the Khronos Viewer Certification website. To learn more about how Khronos is working to grow the 3D asset ecosystem, visit the 3D Commerce page on the Khronos Group website. Any organization can also join Khronos and participate in the 3D Commerce and 3D Formats working groups to shape the future of 3D on the web and beyond.
Industry Support for 3D Commerce Viewer Certification
“For the artist experience, very little compares to the importance of being able to preserve design intent from authoring all the way to delivery and consumption by a customer,” said Brent Scannell, product owner at Autodesk and Khronos Group 3D Formats Working Group Chair. “It was challenging enough when the target was a specific game engine or a single platform, forcing out-of-product inspection and iteration. Today, with the range of engines, platforms, experiences, and devices that exist in our ecosystem, that challenge is more prevalent than ever. Autodesk is proud to collaborate with Khronos Group to provide 3D artists with the confidence that their designs will be preserved, regardless of the platform or device where a 3D asset is served, saving them a huge amount of time and energy.”
“3D assets are viewed on hundreds of millions of devices across the globe. Companies reaching for ecommerce need to make sure their products are accurately presented. The same way PBR [Physically Based Rendering] is supposed to ensure your assets look realistic and physically correct in various lighting scenarios, viewer certification can ensure you always get the same visual experience, regardless of the tool you’re using,” said Paweł Nikiel, 3D automation lead at CGTrader.
“With the success and the growing number of use cases for 3D in commerce, it has become essential for brands and retailers to be able to offer a consistent 3D visualization of their products across experiences and platforms, from product development to advertisement and sales” said Aurélien Vaysset, CEO of Emersya. “As a comprehensive authoring platform and a pioneer of online 3D & AR product experiences for 10 years, it is logical for Emersya to get its in-house 3D viewer certified. We look forward to our continued collaboration within Khronos Group on creating the standards of the future.”
“The open metaverse we envision requires a consistent experience for brands and products, which is why we’re working to ensure that creators can use Unreal Engine to deliver dynamic and immersive apps that will accelerate a thriving digital economy.” says Nick Penwarden, vice president of engineering at Epic Games and member of the Khronos board.
“The ability to showcase virtual products with a high level of realism is essential for the entire shopping ecosystem. With Spark AR, Facebook is proud to be a platform for creators and our extended network of agencies, partners, and sellers globally,” says Alexey Medvedev, tech lead for Facebook’s Spark AR. “Part of our commitment to supporting high quality e-commerce applications is providing the tools and an AR platform to enable visual fidelity that renders consistently with customer expectations. This Khronos certification provides exactly this.”
“As we strive to create the highest quality 3D digital twins for our clients, it is absolutely imperative that everywhere those images manifest, the level of work and detail is self-evident and consistent. It’s equally important that 3D images as a whole be viewed by consumers as consistently better than 2D flat images, not just in functionality, but in the way that they appear,” says Fabrizio Dini, COO, Invrsion. “This certification will guarantee a standard of quality that primes the 3D image industry for success and growth.”
“Providing visual realism and fidelity is essential for the developers of 3D commerce experiences,” said David Catuhe creator of Babylon.js and Group Engineering Manager at Microsoft. “As 3D digital commerce experiences become more pervasive, it’s important that customers trust what they’re seeing and interacting with. This means developers need confidence in rendering digital objects with consistency across 3D viewers and renders. For Babylon.js, supporting certified, cross-ecosystem rendering is critical for allowing our community to continue relying on Babylon.js for rendering 3D scenes with the beauty, realism, and fidelity that they expect.”
“3D content and augmented reality will transform our online experiences. Samsung is committed to contribute to open industry standards to create high quality consumer experiences,” said Jisun Park, Ph.D., corporate vice president, head of Mobile Platform and Solutions in Samsung Research America.
“Today, effectively reaching customers demands a presence on multiple marketing and sales channels. Businesses require that their products show up consistently across these channels, and that their visualizations match the detail and accuracy that went into authoring them. Shopify is committed to working with the ecosystem to ensure that businesses have high confidence that their brand will be represented faithfully in 3D and AR,” said Jon Wade, senior product manager at Shopify.
“As we keep innovating to improve quality 3D modeling at industry’s best turnaround time and at an affordable price, we found there was a huge need to standardize the overall viewing experience of the 3D products across platforms. We are glad Khronos have identified this key issue and have taken huge strides to tackle the same with this ‘Viewer Certification Program,’” said Jatinder Kukreja, founder & CEO of SuperDNA 3D. “This program is going to be a game changer in the 3D world to showcase products in their highest quality ‘uniformly’ across platforms. With such a high degree of realism and configuration options available for an ecommerce viewer, the chances of a viewer converting into a buyer is certainly going to increase multifold.”
“Threekit believes that viewer certification is incredibly important to ensure high quality interchange of accurate product visuals,” said Ben Houston, CTO of Threekit. “This work by Khronos Group is incredibly valuable foundational work for this emerging ecosystem that would not otherwise be done. Threekit is committed to supporting the viewer certification initiative.”
“3D and e-commerce come to life when consumers are able to share and interact with digital experiences ubiquitously across all platforms,” said Tony Parisi, head of AR/VR ads and ecommerce at Unity. “Creating standards that ensure consistency in user experience, regardless of their access point, increases the potential of conversion and social sharing to positively impact a brand or service’s bottom line.”
“This certification program brings the real-time digital twin for visualizing 3D products to the next level,“ said Norbert Nopper managing director at UX3D. “From today on, a visual digital representation of a physical product can look consistent on different platforms like 3D advertisement, webshops or augmented reality viewers. UX3D is supporting this program with its visual glTF editor Gestaltor, which allows an artist to improve and adapt 3D assets for 3D Commerce certified viewers.”
“Looking ahead, brands have an enormous opportunity to leverage 3D technologies to create seamless, interactive online shopping experiences,” said Ashley Crowder, co-founder and CEO of VNTANA. “‘Virtual try-on’ experiences with 3D versions of apparel items are continuing to improve, as well as 3D-driven personalized style and fit recommendations. 3D advertising and ecommerce will soon become the new standard — replacing 2D assets. While this transition will take time, the next year will see a major shift in this direction across all major brands and platforms. 3D is also opening up a whole new revenue stream through digital-only fashion, and NFTs are becoming the digital contract of ownership in the metaverse. We’re already seeing Gen Z spend their allowance on digital goods in Roblox, it’s only a matter of time until we are all spending money to dress our avatars