Parties interested in turning Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite buzzword into a reality announced Wednesday that they formed The Metaverse Standards Forum. Meta is of course one of the founders and big tech names like Adobe, Microsoft and Nvidia are also founders. Notably, the initial membership lacks the participation of Apple and Google.
According to today’s announcement, the forum is intended to “promote the development of open standards for the metaverse.”
“The Forum will explore where the lack of interoperability hinders metaverse implementation and how to coordinate and accelerate the work of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) that define and develop the necessary standards,” the group said in its announcement.
Other founding members include Adobe, Epic Games, Ikea, Qualcomm, Sony, the XR Association and SDO’s The Khronos Group, World Wide Web Consortium and Open Geospatial Consortium.
Apple, which is expected to be a AR headset by 2023, not participating. Neither does Alphabet, which owns Google. Both parties have previously joined open industry groups, including Matter and FIDO, but neither has promoted the term “metaverse.”
In addition to the unannounced (but much-discussed) AR headset that would be in development, CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s role in the metaverse market is “a big question” in Apple’s Q1 2022 earnings call in January.
“We’re always exploring new and emerging technologies…Right now, we have over 14,000 AR kit apps in the App Store, bringing incredible AR experiences to millions of people today,” Cook said when he became asked about Apple’s metaverse plans. to a alpha search translation. “We see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly.”
Google also joined the VR Standards Initiative in 2016, as noted by: TechCrunch, alongside then-Facebook brand Oculus VR. The initiative was led by The Kronos Group, a non-profit organization focused on emerging technologies that also hosts The Metaverse Standards Forum.
The new group offers free, open membership so that both companies can join the metaverse forum later. But with many questions about the metaverse…what it means and how it will be monetized and moderated – we’re not surprised that some big names in tech aren’t excited to sign up. There’s also the fact that Meta is adamant about using a term synonymous with its own brand.
Those organizations will miss out on “pragmatic, action-based projects,” such as “implementation prototyping, hackathons, plugfests, and open-source tooling to accelerate the testing and adoption of metaverse standards,” according to the forum’s announcement. The group also said it will work to develop “consistent terminology and implementation guidelines.”
The group’s focus will vary based on membership, but potential topics covered include “3D assets and rendering, human interface and interaction paradigms, such as AR and VR, user-created content, avatars, identity management, privacy and financial transactions.”
The Metaverse Standards Forum also highlighted potential areas of collaborative spatial computing, including, of course, AR and VR, as well as “photorealistic content authoring, geospatial systems, end-user content tooling, digital twins, real-time collaboration, physical simulation, online economies,” and Lake.
The forum expects to hold its first meeting in July.