Microsoft, Meta and 35 other members have founded ‘The Metaverse Standards Forum’ in a bid to drive “open metaverse interoperability.” It brings together various standards organisations and companies for industry-wide cooperation on interoperability standards needed to build the open metaverse.
“The Forum will explore where the lack of interoperability is holding back metaverse deployment and how the work of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) defining and evolving needed standards may be coordinated and accelerated,” as per an official press release.
Apart from Meta and Microsoft, Adobe, Qualcomm Technologies, Nvidia, Huawei, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Epic Games and Alibaba are also among the founding members.
The list of founding members includes 0xSenses, Academy Software Foundation, Autodesk, Avataar, Blackshark.ai, CalConnect, Cesium, Daly Realism, Disguise, the Enosema Foundation, the Express Language Foundation, IKEA, John Peddie Research, Khronos, Lamina1, Maxon, OpenAR Cloud, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Otoy, Perey Research and Consulting, Ribose, Spatial Web Foundation, Unity, VerseMaker, Wayfair, the Web3D Consortium, the World Wide Web Consortium, and the XR Association (XRA).
As per an official release, the Forum will focus on “pragmatic, action-based projects” such as implementation prototyping, hackathons, plugfests, and open-source tooling to accelerate the testing and adoption of metaverse standards. This will be open to any organisation at no cost, it said. It will also work on developing “consistent terminology and deployment guidelines.”
First coined by science-fiction novelist Neal Stephenson in the book ‘Snow Crash’ in 1992, the term metaverse is meant to describe a “3D virtual world focused on social connection.”
As described by the Forum, “The metaverse is motivating the novel integration and deployment of diverse technologies for collaborative spatial computing, such as interactive 3D graphics, augmented and virtual reality, photorealistic content authoring, geospatial systems, end-user content tooling, digital twins, real-time collaboration, physical simulation, online economies, multi-user gaming, and more — at new levels of scale and immersiveness.”
It further advocates building the metaverse on a foundation of open standards.
“Building an open and inclusive metaverse at a pervasive scale will demand a constellation of open interoperability standards created by SDOs such as The Khronos Group, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Open Geospatial Consortium, the Open AR Cloud, the Spatial Web Foundation, and many others,” it said.
“The Metaverse Standards Forum aims to foster consensus-based cooperation between diverse SDOs and companies to define and align requirements and priorities for metaverse standards—accelerating their availability and reducing duplication of effort across the industry,” it added.
The list of founding members is missing major names such as Apple which is also delving into VR and AR, as per reports.
Hosted by the Khronos Group, the Forum is open to any company, standards organisation, or university at no charge. It can be joined through a click-through participant agreement. “Companies that wish to provide Forum oversight, and may wish to fund Forum projects, can choose to become a principal member,” it said.
The needs and interests of its members will drive the Forum’s activities. It may involve diverse technology domains such as 3D assets and rendering, human interface and interaction paradigms such as AR and VR, a user-created content, avatars, identity management, privacy, and financial transactions. The Forum meetings are expected to start in July 2022.