Parties interested in making the favorite slogan of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg a reality announced Wednesday that they have formed The Metaverse Standards Forum. Meta is of course a founding member, and big tech companies like Adobe, Microsoft, and Nvidia are also founding members. However, initial membership specifically does not include Apple and Google participation.
The forum, as announced today, is to “foster the development of open standards for the metaverse.”
“The forum will examine where a lack of interoperability is holding back the implementation of the metaverse and how the work of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) defining and developing the standards needed can be coordinated and accelerated,” the group said in its announcement.
Other founding members include Adobe, Epic Games, Ikea, Qualcomm, Sony, XR and SDO The Khronos Group, the World Wide Web Consortium, and the Open Geospatial Consortium.
Apple, which is expected to release the AR headset by 2023, is not taking part. So is Alphabet, which Google belongs to. Both parties have previously joined open industry groups, including Matter and FIDO, but neither have endorsed the phrase ‘metaverse’.
In addition to the unannounced (but widely discussed) AR headsets to be developed, CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s role in the metaverse market was “a big issue” in Apple’s January appeal for Q1 2022 results.
“We’re always discovering new and emerging technologies … Right now we have over 14,000 AR Kits in the App Store that provide an amazing AR experience to millions of people today,” said Cook when asked about Apple’s metaverse plans. for Seeking Alpha transcription. “We see great potential in this space and we are investing accordingly.”
Meanwhile, Google Alphabet has been paired with its own new AR headset. AR is an advertised feature on various Google products, from Pixel phones to software.
Google also joined the VR Standards Initiative in 2016, as TechCrunch noted, along with the then-brand Oculus VR on Facebook. The initiative was led by The Kronos Group, a technology-focused non-profit organization that also hosts the Metaverse Standards Forum.
The new group provides free, open membership so that both companies can join the Metaverse forum. But with so many questions about the metaverse – what it means and how it will monetize and moderate – we’re not surprised that some of the big names in technology are reluctant to sign up. There is also the fact that Meta is adamant about using the term that is synonymous with its own brand.
These organizations will miss out on “pragmatic, action-driven projects” such as “implementation prototyping, hackathons, plugfests and open-source tools to accelerate testing and adoption of metaverse standards,” according to a forum announcement. The group also said it would work to develop “consistent terminology and implementation guidelines”.
The group’s emphasis will vary per membership, but potential topics proposed are “3D assets and rendering, user interface and interaction paradigms such as AR and VR, user-generated content, avatars, identity management, privacy, and financial transactions.”
The Metaverse Standards Forum also highlighted the potential areas of collaboration in spatial processing, including, of course, AR and VR, but also “photorealistic content creation, geospatial systems, end-user content creation tools, digital twins, real-time collaboration, physical simulations, economies. online, “and more.
The forum expects the first meeting to be held in July.