Meta, Microsoft, and Sony Join 3 Dozen Metaverse Standards Forum Founders
Meta, Nvidia, Epic Games, and Microsoft have collaborated with 32 other metaverse-related companies and organizations to foster interoperability and open technical agreement for the burgeoning digital worlds. The Metaverse Standards Forum aims to set a baseline for how virtual reality, digital spaces and Web3 operate for both users and developers.
The Metaverse Standards Forumlaid out very broad goals, including simply agreeing on the definition of terms like metaverse and Web3. Hackathons, open-source tooling and other “pragmatic, action-based project” will then be used to streamline development and encourage non-members to adopt the Forum’s standards. The organization is free for companies and groups to join, as the founding groups believe the best version of the metaverse requires some open standards.
“Building a metaverse for everyone will require an industry-wide focus on common standards. The Metaverse Standards Forum can drive the collaboration that’s needed to make this possible, and Meta is committed to this work,” Meta vice president of Metaverse Vishal Shah said. “Creators, developers and companies will all benefit from the technologies and experiences that will be made possible by common protocols.”
Standards are not the same as putting everything on one platform, a la the World Wide Web, but it should smooth the road for developers who want to create a game or experience that works just as well for Epic’s Fortnite virtual universe and Meta’s Horizon Worlds. That’s why standards developing organization (SDO) The Khronos Group is the official host of the Forum. Khronos has experience in the matter, having brought together brands like Google, Epic, and Oculus (before it was acquired by Meta) in 2016 for the VR Standards Initiative.
“The metaverse will bring together diverse technologies, requiring a constellation of interoperability standards, created and maintained by many standards organizations,” Khronos president Neil Trevett said. “The Metaverse Standards Forum is a unique venue for coordination between standards organizations and industry, with a mission to foster the pragmatic and timely standardization that will be essential to an open and inclusive metaverse.”
Metaverse Vs. Metaverse
The big names behind the Metaverse Standards Forum indicate which groups are most keen on the interoperability and standardization of the metaverse. However, their presence does have the side effect of making absences more obvious. Apple is missing from the collection of tech giants with a toe in virtual reality joining the Forum. Arguably even more notable is the gap where one might expect mainstays of the metaverse like Roblox and Niantic, as well as metaverse pioneer Second Life. The Forum’s first events will be held this summer, and the membership may evolve quickly, but any group wishing to impose industry-wide standards will need most if not all of the most prominent players to buy into the founders’ vision. That said, the major Asian and Europan brands among the Metaverse Standards Forum founding group illustrate its global extent and suggest at least some staying power.
“Huawei is very glad to join the Metaverse Standards Forum as we believe that the metaverse industry and ecosystem will benefit from the collaborative actions and open standards,” Huawei corporate strategy and industry development vice president Xiao Ran said. “We look forward to cooperating with the leading SDO’s and industry partners to accelerate the open interoperability standards for metaverse and contribute our experiences.”
The founding members include 0xSenses, Academy Software Foundation, Adobe, Alibaba, Autodesk, Avataar, Blackshark.ai, CalConnect, Cesium, Daly Realism, Disguise, the Enosema Foundation, Epic Games, the Express Language Foundation, Huawei, IKEA, John Peddie Research, Khronos, Lamina1, Maxon, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OpenAR Cloud, the 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 (XRA).
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