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Metaverse Standards Forum established to solve the interoperability conundrum

We couldn’t end the week without talking about the biggest Metaverse news doing the rounds, which involves Meta and Microsoft’s collaboration to create open Metaverse standards. Members of the Metaverse Standards Forum will be familiar to anyone who follows themetabite. They include with Meta (formally Facebook), Microsoft, Huawei, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Sony, Epic Games, Unity and Adobe. Both Meta and Microsoft have appeared in our Future Titans of the Metaverse series, and we’ve also covered Qualcomm, Sony and Epic Games in recent posts. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR chipsets can be found in most of the leading virtual reality headsets and Sony’s moves into the Metaverse, most recently in April, have included a $1 billion investment in a family friendly Metaverse in collaboration with LEGO and Epic Games.


Back in May we looked into the issue of open standards and interoperability in our Barriers to the Metaverse series of posts. So why are open standards and interoperability important? They’re important because the ability to move unhindered between worlds is part of the fundamental promise of the Metaverse. In a future Metaverse with a seemingly infinite number of worlds to explore, we’re going to want to retain our avatar’s characteristics, and who is going to want a near infinite number of login details? We want to be able to move through Metaverses as easily as walking through a door. In the Metaverse, interoperability means that anyone, anywhere, can use any device, such as VR googles, haptic gloves, haptic suit, or a brain-computer interface, to enter different environments owned by different companies. Hence, its in all the major players interests to get this right interoperability conundrum.


The Metaverse Standards Forum recognises the need for interoperability so that Metaverse technologies can work together and that “multiple industry leaders have stated that the potential of the metaverse will be best realized if it is built on a foundation of open standards.” According to its homepage, rather than create its own set of standards, the Metaverse Standards Forum will: “coordinate requirements and resources to foster the creation and evolution of standards within already existing organizations.”


The full list of founding members includes Adobe, the ASWF (the Academy Software Foundation), Autodesk, Avataar, Blackshark.ai, Calconnect, Cesium, Damo, Disguise, DR, Enosema, Epic Games, Huawei, IKEA, Jon Peddie Research, Khronos Group, Lamina, Maxon, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Open AR Cloud, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Otoy, OxSenses, Qualcomm, Ribose, Sony, Spatial Web Foundation, Unity, VerseMaker, Wayfair, the Web 3D Consortium, W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium), and the XR Association. Glaring omissions include major players in the development of the Metaverse, Apple and Google.


Here at themetabite we’re eagerly awaiting the outcome of the Metaverse Standards Forum’s inaugural meeting next month!


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