Meta, Microsoft, Huawei: the metaverse, the new darling of the web giants

I dreamed of another world… – Have you ever tried the metaverse, this open virtual world, at the crossroads of everything and everyone, available through, say, a computer or an augmented reality headset? No. Because it doesn’t exist. At least, not yet as the original definition stipulates. Indeed, it is common to evoke the metaverse as a futuristic world, an open and free 3D social space. In reality, some (sometimes for good reason) find the metaverse ugly, others find it inaccessible, complicated, and riddled with bugs (sometimes for good reason, too). However, according to a recent McKinsey report, the metaverse should be worth $5,000 billion by 2030. This potential attracts large international companies committed to conquer the web 3, blockchain technology is now unanimous.

As such, this week’s announcement of the Metaverse Standards Forum caught the attention of your Meta-Hebdo. Standardization and regulatory bodies, geospatial software development companies, social networking giants, Swedish furniture giant, all sign up for this consortium. The target? The normalization of the metaverse.

The various meetings that make up the Forum are structured around themes proposed by the founding companies. Khronos group, a giant in 3D development and augmented reality, is their leader. The purpose of the forum is to make the connection between Web 2 and Web 3 standardization companies and companies that want to develop them. Among these so-called SDO standardization organizationswe find, among other things:

  • Global Web Consortium (international standardization body);
  • l’Open Geospatial Consortium (geospatial standards setting);
  • Open AR cloud (development of augmented reality);
  • Spatial Web Foundation (development of web standards in space);
  • Software Foundation (blockchain company working on algorithms);
  • Avatar (standardization company about means of payment in the metaverse)
  • cesium (geospatial 3D platform in collaboration with the US Department of Defense)

On the business side, the presence of some also caught our attention.

So in total it is more than 30 companies and organizations who associate and work together in the same direction around this free event.

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Then the proof is there. The idea of ​​a social network, a real open space, offers dizzying development opportunities for all these companies. Video games, multiplayer platforms, interconnected networks, they can all see a certain commercial interest in it.

As a result, many of the companies present have already started their conquest of the metaverse. Meta tries to practice his hand with his Horizon World. Microsoft is also developing a industrial metaverse, real working tool to develop the productivity of an industry. The Forum’s initiative was then a necessity for Meta’s vice president, Vishal Shah:

“Building a metaverse for everyone requires an industry-wide focus on common standards. the Metaverse Standards Forum can lead the collaboration needed to make this possible and Meta is committed to this. Creators, developers and businesses will all benefit from the technologies and experiences enabled by common protocols.”

Khronos Group President Neil Trevett is also developing this need to establish realistic and accessible standards for businesses:

” De Metaverse Standards Forum is a unique place of coordination between standards organizations and industry (…) that will be essential for an open and inclusive metaverse. »

Which working lines?

The avenues of work and research to develop a homogeneous metaverse should therefore be explored. There are many themes:

  • Promote workspaces and meetings for web 3 players;
  • Make a space out of coordination of requirements ;
  • Coordinate the resources needed to set future standards ;
  • Stand one. please compatibility of different metaverses ;
  • Work on the interoperability of the metaverse with the real world.

On the technology side, it will then be a matter of working on the development of standardization and interoperability tools during hackathons and other developer meetings. There are many areas of work:

  • Developing and working on the fluidity of 3D graphics;
  • Exploring the concept of avatar ownership ;
  • Privacy and Security ;
  • Research on geospatial systems and their relationship to reality;
  • Development on thenetwork interoperability ;
  • Working on positioning services (VPS);
  • Development of extended reality (XR);
  • Mass user experience testing;
  • Development and research on financial transactions.

What future for decentralization?

Marc Petit, responsible director at Epic Games even sees the opportunity to develop a healthy ecosystem using web3 technologies such as blockchain.

“Our goal is to build an open metaverse that enriches humanity and hosts a thriving and equitable ecosystem with millions of creators. »

The International Regulatory Body Global Consortium (W3C) emphasizes the importance of institutionalizing these standards for an immersive web. It calls for the coordination and construction of an interoperable platform.

This may be where the shoe pinches. The idea of ​​a centralized platform brings with it certain issues of freedom and anonymity that can slow down the notions of decentralization developed by web 3 and developed on certain platforms such as Decentralland.

the Metaverse Forum Standards proposes therefore to lay the foundations of a still embryonic metaverse whose accessibility, despite everyone’s good will, already seems to be in jeopardy, as evidenced by the absence of Apple. The equation also contains some unknowns. Indeed, even if blockchain technology may seem obvious to some, and a solution is already in place for others, such as: sony, the mention of payments in the metaverse raises questions about the fate reserved for cryptocurrencies or even anonymity. Case to follow in your Meta-Hebdo.

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