The Metaverse is envisioned by many as the next generation of the Internet, a vast and free 3D network of virtual and augmented spaces where people can participate in everything they do online: work, play, learn and explore. increase. Feels like real life.
To achieve this, many layers of technical standards and protocols must be established and adopted by the Metaverse platform.
Join the Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF), established in June 2022. To “promote the development of open and comprehensive metaverse interoperability standards and accelerate their development and deployment through pragmatic, action-based projects.” Since the vision of metaverse is still a work in progress, but the group also has the express purpose of bringing some order to the underlying terminology of the metaverse.
What is the Metaverse Standards Forum?
MSF is an industry-wide effort to harmonize metaverse standards and best practices. To date, its over 1,800 members include tech companies such as Google, Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia. The standards body Chronos Group and his Web3D Consortium. Multinational software companies Adobe, Autodesk and Epic. and Accenture, a professional technical services company.
MSF Chairman Neil Trevett, vice president of ecosystem development at Nvidia and president of Khronos Group, called the forum a “unique forum for coordination between standards bodies and industry.” .
Sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, who coined the term at the forum’s first “Building the Metaverse” event metaverse in his 1992 novel snow crashemphasized that the process of developing standards for the metaverse should be collaborative.
“I don’t believe in a top-down prescriptive approach to what the metaverse should look like. It should be bottom-up, with as few absolute rules as possible.” Stephenson said. “Builders have to decide.”
Neil StevensonAuthor “Snow Crash”
What is the purpose of the Metaverse Standards Forum?
With so many standards bodies already in the field, it’s easy to think that the creation of another standards body would add to the confusion. However, IT executives are hoping that new efforts will suggest areas for consolidating and further harmonizing existing work.
“Whether to subscribe Single metaverse or multiverse modelKevin Collins, Managing Director of Accenture, said:
interoperability Platforms are needed so that they can interact with each other and allow users to easily move between platforms while having identities, assets, and communication with them, Collins explains. He believes the work of the Metaverse Standards Forum will facilitate and coordinate the development and adoption of the standards necessary to ensure the creation of a connected and consistent metaverse.
MSF itself emphasizes that it intends to coordinate the requirements and resources of other standards bodies rather than create new standards. To do so, we work with various standards bodies in relevant fields, including the Khronos Group, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Open Geospatial Consortium, Open AR Cloud, and Spatial Web Foundation.
This alignment helps participants think about consumers and the kinds of standards they need. Enterprise use casesaid Frank Palermo, Executive Vice President and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) at Virtusa, a digital engineering consultancy.
“It’s important to have a collaborating body to review the standard,” Palermo said. We are going to build it,” he said.
Main technical areas of standardization
Palermo believes that one of the key technical areas to consider for standardization concerns data exchange. Virtual worlds may have different ways of representing the size, shape, behavior, sound, and animation of objects. Standards such as Khronos Group’s glTF 3D object.
Other standards have emerged to describe the physical properties of objects, how they are combined, and how they are animated. For example, 3D Tiles stream massive 3D data sets in real time. A Universal Scene Description organizes a collection of objects into a scene. PhysX shares the physical and behavioral properties of objects. MaterialX represents the texture and appearance of an object.
Recent MSF poll We have prioritized the following areas where we anticipate the greatest impact on the industry:
- Interoperable 3D assets
- Privacy, Safety, Security, Inclusiveness
- USER ID
- Avatars and apparel
- Integration of real and virtual worlds and geospatial
- education and education
- payments and economy
- Augmented reality and UI
Why the Metaverse Standards Forum Matters
Forum members hope that this process will help build trust among Metaverse builders. This is important as the industry explores new technologies and new business models. Early blockchain and decentralized finance efforts attempted to address trust programmatically, only to discover new vulnerabilities and types of exploits that no one had previously imagined.
Better standards could also ensure interoperability across the globe, but without it, it would be complicated for users and developers, Collins said.
“risk [of not creating standards] Very satisfying as users have to create new avatars, acquire new assets, sign up for different services, and apply different sets of rules as they move from one platform to the next. It’s not the user experience,” Collins said. – code for each instance. “
Metaverse Standards Forum Issue
Perhaps the biggest challenge is that interoperability must work smoothly at many different levels simultaneously. “The seemingly simple goal of metaverse interoperability hides a much more complex reality,” he said Collins.
Enterprises must support common technical standards for infrastructure, devices, interfaces, and representations. Also, identity management, ownership of digital assets, intellectual property, Privacy and security.
And ultimately, the Metaverse will have to contend with new regulations to protect citizens and governments, much like the patchwork of privacy, social media, and AI regulations emerging today.
“Interoperability in the metaverse is difficult because of the complexity and many layers involved, and regulatory issues make it even more difficult,” said Collins.
Emmanuelle Rivet, Vice Chairman of US TMT and Global Technology Leader at PwC, predicts that interoperability will create new challenges around data collection and protection. She can also undermine business strategies around keeping users and their data locked to a particular platform.
How to participate in the Metaverse Standards Forum
MSF is free and open to all participants, including companies, standards bodies, non-profit organizations, industry associations and universities. Individuals authorized to sign legal documents on behalf of the company must: start the processYou can simply participate in forum discussions and projects, or you can optionally help moderate the forums or fund the forum projects.Individuals can also sign up for our free newsletter to stay up to date here.
As noted by those interviewed for this article, the great momentum behind the Metaverse Standards Forum is, in a sense, interoperability A conference in the early days of the Internet. At the time, telecom service providers were busy “finishing” open system interconnection stacks to handle any situation.
Meanwhile, TCP/IP protocol evangelist Dan Lynch held the first Interop conference in 1986. At this conference, equipment from each vendor was required to work together. Despite its technical deficiencies, this cooperation cemented TCP/IP as the foundation upon which the Internet unifies to this day. Proponents want the Metaverse Standards Forum to do the same for the Metaverse stack.