Meta and Microsoft are teaming up to create the metaverse standards;  Apple, Google sit

Meta and Microsoft are teaming up to create the metaverse standards; Apple, Google sit

Young man or teenager in white shirt wearing a virtual reality headset while experiencing virtual reality in neon purple and blue colors.

Parties interested in turning Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite buzzword into a reality announced Wednesday that they have formed the Metaverse Standards Forum. Meta is a founding member, of course, and big tech names like Adobe, Microsoft, and Nvidia are also founding members. However, the initial membership is notably lacking in the involvement of Apple and Google.

The forum, according to today’s announcement, aims to “promote the development of open standards for metaverses.”

“The forum will explore where a lack of interoperability hinders metaverse deployment and how the work of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) that define and develop required standards can be coordinated and accelerated,” the group said in its announcement.

Other founding members are Adobe, Epic Games, Ikea, Qualcomm, Sony, XR Association, SDOs The Khronos Group, World Wide Web Consortium, and Open Geospatial Consortium.

Apple, which is expected to release an AR headset by 2023, is not involved, nor is Alphabet, which owns Google. Both parties have joined open industry groups before, including Matter and FIDO, but neither has promoted the term “metaverse”.

Along with an unannounced (but much discussed) AR headset said to be in development, CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s role in the metaverse market was a “big question” in Apple’s Q1 2022 earnings call in January.

When asked about Apple’s metaverse plans, Cook said, “We’re always exploring new and emerging technologies…Currently, we have over 14,000 AR kit apps in the App Store, which provide amazing AR experiences to millions of people today.” For an alpha version seek. “We see a lot of potential in this area and are investing accordingly.”

Meanwhile, Google’s Alphabet has been linked with a new AR headset of its own. And augmented reality is a full feature of many Google products, from Pixel phones to software.

Google also joined the VR standards initiative in 2016, TechCrunch notes, along with then-Facebook’s Oculus VR brand. The initiative is 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 and open membership, so both companies can join the metaverse forum down the line. But with so many questions surrounding the metaverse – what it means and how it will be monetized and moderated – it’s no surprise that some of the big names in tech aren’t eager to sign up. There is also the fact that Meta is adamant about using the term complementary with its own brand.

These organizations will lose “real-world, action-based projects,” such as “implementation prototypes, hackathons, plugins, and open source tools to accelerate testing and adoption of metaverse standards,” according to the forum’s announcement. The group also said it would work to develop “consistent terminology and publication guidelines.”

The focus of the group will vary based on membership, but potential topics at hand are “3D assets and display, human interface and interaction models, such as AR and VR, user-generated content, avatars, identity management, privacy, and financial transactions.”

The Metaverse Standards Forum also highlighted potential areas for collaborative spatial computing, including AR and VR, of course, but also “real-world content authoring, geospatial systems, end-user content tools, digital twins, real-time collaboration, physical simulation, and economies of scale.” online,” and more.

The forum is expected to hold its first meeting in July.

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