## Relativization is naturally functorial

In this note, we provide some categorical perspectives on the relativization construction arising from quantum measurement theory in the presence of symmetries and occupying a central place in the operational approach to quantum reference frames. This construction provides, for any quantum system, a quantum channel from the system’s algebra to the invariant algebra on the composite system also encompassing the chosen reference, contingent upon a choice of the pointer observable. These maps are understood as relativizing observables on systems upon the specification of a quantum reference frame. We begin by extending the construction to systems modelled on subspaces of algebras of operators to then define a functor taking a pair consisting of a reference frame and a system and assigning to them a subspace of relative operators defined in terms of an image of the corresponding relativization map. When a single frame and equivariant channels are considered, the relativization maps can be understood as a natural transformation. Upon fixing a system, the functor provides a novel kind of frame transformation that we call external. Results achieved provide a deeper structural understanding of the framework of interest and point towards its categorification and potential application to local systems of algebraic quantum field theories.