If the future of the web is in the metaverse, it is an essential brick that has just been laid by forty large companies. From Meta to Nvidia via Microsoft and epic Sony, and even Adobe, Alibaba, Huawei and Ikea, all have just united within the Metaverse Standards Forum . He will have to enact the standards of the metaverse.
Free and open to other members, this forum first wants to work on the interoperability standards to move towards open platforms; we therefore better understand the absence of Apple from this initiative, he who fought so hard for closed universes and his own standards . If all these tech giants speak the same language through common standards, they may end up answering the famous question: “Can we navigate from one metaverse to another?” »
3D, avatars, currencies…
The Forum will focus on “pragmatic and action-based” projects, reads a statement, such as “prototyping, hackathons, plugfests [des événements où les normes d’interopérabilité sont testées, NDLR] and open source tools to accelerate testing and adoption of metaverse standards”. Finally, the Forum will develop a terminology, while issuing guidelines.
If all these players want their metaverse strategic vision to happen, they will have to tune their violins. “Standards are the basis of ubiquitous infrastructures”, points out the Forum. And as much to say that taking into account the ambition of these metaverses the points of friction are innumerable: virtual reality and augmented, 3D content, physical engines, digital twins, security, crypto-currencies, sensors…
The Forum can count on standardization organizations in its members, and not the least. Among them, the Khronos group – which specializes in application programming interfaces, and which hosts this forum -, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Open Geospatial Consortium, the Open AR Cloud, the Spatial Web Foundation and others.
Antagonism with Web3
Suffice to say that this forum will accentuate the gap between the two great visions of metaverse. The first, that of the current tech giants of which Meta and its Horizon Worlds are at the head of the gondola. The second, that of the swarm of start-ups using blockchain, cryptos and NFT, such as The Sandbox and calling for the era of Web3 .
While web 2.0 has become multipolar, with a Huawei hated in the United States or a Facebook banned in China, or even TikTok, for a time at the heart of the trade war Sino-American, this forum has the merit of bringing actors from all sides around the same table. In particular, the Chinese Huawei and Alibaba.
Where are Apple and Google?
This does not prevent ambitious actors in the metaverse from conspicuous by their absence, as Alphabet (Google) but also HTC, one of the pioneers in virtual reality (VR), or ByteDance (TikTok) which is one of the main suppliers of VR masks in the world through its start-up Pico.
Other big names in video game ( Roblox ) or augmented reality ( Snap , Niantic ), are missing. The Forum will perhaps be reassured by the presence of a somewhat special actor: Lamina1. This start-up – which works on its own virtual world – is driven by neal stephenson , the same man who invented the concept of metaverses in 1992, in his book “Snow Crash”. See you in July for the first working sessions of the forum.
Members of the Metaverse Standards Forum
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, Lamina1 , 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, the Web3D Consortium, the World Wide Web Consortium and the XR Association.
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Meta, Sony, Ikea… 40 giants unite to build the standards of the metaverse
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