They are called Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Adobe, Alibaba, Epic Games, Nvidia, IKEA or Huawei… around forty groups and technology companies joined together to sign the founding text of the Metaverse Standards Forum in June 2022. Objective: create an open metaverse, or at least a standard that allows different metaverses to communicate with each other rather than operate in closed virtual worlds. First mission: to create a common definition of what the metaverse is because, even today, there are differences in its characteristics.
If the leading players are among the founding members, it is necessary to underline the absence of two tech giants, Apple and Google/Alphabet. The world’s leading players in virtual reality are not on the list of signatories. Namely: Roblox, Valve, ByteDance, HTC or Niantic. No more blockchain players (except Lamina1), technology on which the metaverse will still be based. Meanwhile, Meta with his metaverse sketch, Horizon Worlds, is on board.
An open metaverse to maximize interoperability
In a press release, the Metaverse Standards Forum explained that it will focus on authentication “where lack of interoperability hinders deployment in the metaverse”, this future of the Internet called Web3. And to add to that “Industry leaders understand that the potential of the metaverse is best realized when it is built on a foundation of open standards. Building an open and inclusive metaverse at scale will require a constellation of open interoperability standard.”
This interoperability does not mean that it is possible to move from one world to another while one navigates between Google and Facebook or from one page to another on the Internet. But open standards make it easier for developers to create the same content for different platforms. Or users to export data from one virtual world to another.
Concrete projects to come
If a small forty companies have approved the founding text of the Metaverse Standards Forum, others may join the group at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2023. Open to all and free, it is host within the group Chronos. This company itself is a major open source consortium (OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenXR, glTF, etc.).
Initially, the Forum will focus on very pragmatic projects such as the implementation of prototypes, the organization of hackathons or the development of open source tools. And this, from this summer.
The list of companies that signed the Metaverse Standards Forum:
- Academy Software Foundation
- Ali Baba
- Daly Realism
- Enosema Foundation
- Epic Game
- Express Language Foundation
- Jon Peddie Research
- Plate 1
- OpenAR Cloud
- Open the Geospatial Consortium
- Perey Research and Consulting
- Qualcomm Technologies
- Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Spatial Web Foundation
- Creator of Verse
- Web3D Consortium
- World Wide Web Consortium
- XR Association