The Augmented Reality Edge Networking Architecture – ARENA

The ARENA is a platform for supporting real-time mixed reality (XR) interaction between multiple users and the physical world. It is a network-transparent runtime system that uses web-based technologies to host independent applications that can be accessed simultaneously by multiple users.

Collaborative Mixed Reality Applications ARE Hard

Many have predicted the future of the Web to be the integration of Web content with the real-world through technologies such as augmented reality. This overlay of virtual content on top of the physical world, called the Spatial Web (in different contexts might be called AR Cloud, MetaVerse, Digital Twin), holds promise for dramatically changing the Internet as we see it today, and has broad application. 

Building pervasive mixed reality applications is challenging for several reasons, such as: (i) applications require global instant-on localization; (ii) ideally, multiple users should interact with the content; (iii) tight latency requirements; (iv) diversity of compute and interaction capabilities.

The ARENA addresses the challenges of building collaborative mixed reality applications. It is designed to allow interactions with and within the physical world, with locality and pervasive sensing as first-class citizens.


Content viewed by users is composed of 3D scenes (ARENA Scenes) along with the code and other scene information, such as the local message bus server. The scenes are loaded akin to regular web applications within a web browser with the capability to render the content and interact with location services. 

All objects in the ARENA scene are implicitly networked via a message bus, which allows the scenes, code, and other sensors and services to interact.

A directory service run by the ATLAS allows users to find the content at their location and supports linking this content with the physical world (by holding information about location beacons, such as light anchors). 

Execution of code in the scene is managed by a local resource manager (ARTS) and can be dispatched for execution in an available WASM runtime, according to available network and compute resources, quality of service and security policies. 

ARENA Browser Stack

A core component of the ARENA is an environment to view and interact in virtual and augmented reality. This environment was built using Web standards (notably, WebXR and WebGL) and frameworks for building 3D scenes and AR/VR environments (three.js and A-Frame).

We also take advantage of WASM‘s availability in all major browsers and other platforms outside the browser to execute distributed XR applications.

ARENA features

Anchored in the Real-world

The ARENA can integrate different systems, such as optical markers, VIO, UWB beacons and camera tracking systems, to provide experiences that are anchored in the real-world.

Location-Based Lookups

Users perform location-based lookups to find nearby scenes that contain applications.

Implicitly Networked

Objects in a scene are implicitly networked. Multiple users see the object's properties (location, rotation, appearance) being updated in real-time. Applications can be hosted on any networked device and can easily connect with digital services.


Thanks to the adoption of Web technologies such as WebXR and WASM, the ARENA can support different platforms for vizualization and distributed execution of programs.

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