The Metaverse Standards Forum for Metaverse Standardization

Huawei and Qualcomm are part of the Metaverse Standards Forum to develop industry guidelines that ensure the compatibility of immersive VR worlds. Creating interoperability and fostering collaboration will be at the heart of the forum.

Recall that metaverse is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. While there is no precise definition of the term, it encompasses the idea that the Internet exists as an immersive virtual world experience, accessible through VR or mixed reality ( AR/VR) headsets. Facebook has been the biggest proponent of the idea that the metaverse represents the future of the internet, while Apple has a more conservative view. Building a ubiquitous, open and globally inclusive meta-universe requires collaboration and coordination between a constellation of international standardization organizations including the Khronos Group, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Open Geospatial Consortium, OpenAR Cloud, Spatial Web Foundation and much more.

The Forum will not itself create standards, but will coordinate the requirements and resources to promote the creation and evolution of standards within standardization bodies working in the relevant fields. It can be noted that no Web3 company is present at this stage, nor any metaverse like TheSandBox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels…

In a statement, the forum detailed plans to develop consistent terminology and implementation guidelines, as well as several projects to advance the testing and adoption of metaverse standards. The Metaverse Standards Forum is free to any organization and provides a venue for collaboration between standards organizations and companies to promote the development of interoperability standards.

The forum is hosted by software company Khronos Group with Adobe, Sony, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia … and standards groups including the World Wide Web Consortium, also among its participants. The Metaverse Standards Forum is open to all companies, standards groups, and universities for free. Meta, Microsoft and other tech giants vying to build the emerging concept of the metaverse formed a group to support the development of industry standards that would make nascent digital business worlds compatible.

Forum activities are driven by the needs and interests of its members and can span a variety of technology areas including, but not limited to:

  • Interactive 3D assets and photo-realistic rendering
  • Human interface and interaction paradigms including AR, VR and XR
  • User Generated Content
  • Avatars, identity management and privacy
  • Financial operations
  • IOT and digital twins
  • Geospatial Systems

Founding members include: 0xSenses, Academy Software Foundation, Adobe, Alibaba, Autodesk, Avataar, Blackshark.ai, CalConnect, Cesium, Daly Realism, Disguise, Enosema Foundation, Epic Games, Express Language Foundation, Huawei, IKEA, John Peddie Research, Khronos, Lamina, Maxon , Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OpenAR Cloud, Open Geospatial Consortium, Otoy, Perey Research and Consulting, Qualcomm Technologies, Ribose, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Spatial Web Foundation, Unity, VerseMaker, Wayfair, Web3D Consortium, World Wide Web Consortium and the XR Association (XRA).

Forum activities are driven by the needs and interests of its members and can span various technology areas such as 3D assets and rendering, human interface and interaction paradigms such as AR and VR, user-created content, avatars, identity management, privacy and financial transactions. The forum meetings are expected to begin in July 2022.

interoperability

Standards are the foundation of a ubiquitous infrastructure, especially since widely accepted platforms require numerous hardware and software standards. An open and inclusive metaverse at scale will require the right standards at the right time, from many standardization bodies! For example, there is a potential bridgehead opportunity for meaningful industry standards collaboration between the USD and the glTF. Both formats actively add attributes and behavior to move from 3D assets to metaverse assets. Many questions are asked such as: To what extent do standards and protocols converge? What is the degree of interoperability between the different platforms? Is there one unified economy across all platforms? Will digital goods bought in one metaverse be available in another? Are identities persistent across platforms? Are there consistent design and programming standards?

Of course, there will be a need for regulation so that IP and digital assets are reliably protected.

Coming

While the future of the metaverse is still unknown, according to Deloitte, there are several actions leaders can take right now:

  • Don’t underestimate the potential: Formulate a metaverse strategy, but keep it flexible enough to adapt to changes in technology and consumer preferences. Take a “test and learn” approach to consumer and business functions.
  • Look at the long term: Since the overall metaverse and associated revenue generation is likely to take place over several years, companies need to take a long-term view of investments and consider KPIs around consumer and employee engagement in addition to return on investment. Consider investments in the context of broader digital transformation programs.
  • Focus on demand and what drives users : Organizations must focus on creating compelling content and engaging experiences (e.g., exclusive partnerships, user-generated content tools, robust data, and gathering insights) to gain market share and stay competitive.
  • Bet on a “responsible metaverse”: organizations will need to manage a range of complexities and risks in the metaverse (e.g. privacy/security, accessibility, sustainable energy consumption) and ensure that they proactively build a responsible metaverse and effectively retain consumers and employees trust.

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