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

I was dreaming of another world… – Have you ever tried the metaverse, this open virtual world, at the crossroads of everyone and everything, available via a computer or an augmented reality headset for example? No. Because it does not exist. At least, not yet as the original definition determines. Indeed, it is customary to evoke the metaverse as a futuristic world, an open and free 3D social space. In reality, some find (sometimes with good reason) the metaverse ugly, others find it inaccessible, complicated and punctuated with bugs (sometimes with good reason as well). However, according to a recent McKinsey report, the metaverse should be worth 5,000 billion dollars by 2030. This potential attracts large international companies that are mobilizing to conquer the web 3, blockchain technology is now unanimous.

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

The various meetings that will make up the Forum are structured around issues proposed by the founding companies. Khronos Group, a giant in 3D development and augmented reality, is their leader. The forum aims to to make the connection between Web 2 and Web 3 standardization companies and companies wishing to develop them. Among these so-called SDO standardization bodieswe find, among others:

  • World Wide Web Consortium (international standardization body);
  • L’Open Geospatial Consortium (geospatial standards body);
  • 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 on means of payment in the metaverse)
  • cesium (geospatial 3D platform in conjunction with the US Department of Defense)

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

It is therefore in total more than 30 companies and organizations who associate and collaborate in the same direction around this free event.

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

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

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

The president of Khronos Group, Neil Trevett, also develops this need to establish realistic and accessible standards for companies:

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

What lines of work?

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

  • Promote workspaces and meetings for web 3 players;
  • Create a space of coordination of requirements ;
  • Coordinate resources needed to establish future standards ;
  • Allow a compatibility of different metaverses ;
  • Work on the interoperability of the metaverse with the real world.

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

  • Development and work on the fluidity of 3D graphics;
  • Research on the notion of ownership of avatars ;
  • Privacy Security ;
  • Research on geospatial systems and their links with reality;
  • Development on thenetwork interoperability ;
  • Work 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 executive at Epic Games even sees the possibility of developing a healthy ecosystem, using web3 technologies such as blockchain.

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

The international regulatory body World Wide Consortium (W3C) stresses the importance of institutionalizing these standards for an immersive web. It insists on the coordination and the construction of an interoperable platform.

This is perhaps where the shoe pinches. The idea of ​​a centralized platform poses certain problems of freedom and anonymity which can slow down the notions of decentralization developed by web 3 and developed on certain platforms such as Decentraland.

the Metaverse Forum Standards therefore proposes to lay the foundations of a still embryonic metaverse whose accessibility seems, despite everyone’s good will, already compromised, as evidenced by the absence of Apple. The equation also keeps some unknowns. Indeed, even if blockchain technology seems obvious to some, and a solution 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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