What Is the Purpose of the Metaverse Standards Forum?

What Is the Purpose of the Metaverse Standards Forum

Is the Metaverse Standards Forum really all that it’s chalked up to be?

On June 22, the non-profit standards organization the Khronos Group announced the formation of a collaborative body called the Metaverse Standard Forum (MSF). Many major metaverse players, like Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Adobe and Nvidia, have come together to join the Khronos Group as founding members of the MSF. 

The forum aims to ensure interoperability (ability to exchange information) across different metaverses to make it easier for developers to build across various platforms. As such, the MSF is free for anyone to join. Let’s take a deeper look at the goals of the WSF, what it means for companies in the metaverse space and whether it can actually accomplish these goals. 

What does the MSF hope to achieve?

Companies joining hands to work together 

One of the major goals of the MSF is to create an open and inclusive metaverse. At present, we understand the metaverse in a very company-specific way. For instance, we know that Nvidia, one of the founding members of the MSF, has a metaverse for engineers called Omniverse, and the gaming platform Roblox is a metaverse in itself. However, the metaverse isn’t meant to be individual virtual spaces “owned” by a particular company where one cannot communicate with another. It is eventually supposed to be everyone’s, in the sense that all virtual worlds are interconnected.

“No one really knows the final shape of the metaverse, but some things are already clear. And that is, of course, that a lot of different technologies are going to need to work together for all the different domains to work,” says the President of Khronos Group, Neil Trevett. 

Founding member Meta agrees with Trevett’s statement. In a blog post, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote, “…the metaverse will be a constellation of technologies, platforms, and products. It won’t be built, operated or governed by any one company or institution,” comparing it to a patchwork quilt. 

Defining the metaverse 

The company-specific metaverses we mentioned above make it clear that the term “metaverse” isn’t as well-defined as it should be. Many big companies today have created 3D experiences which may or may not fall under the purview of the metaverse. Just do a simple Google search, and you’ll see a flurry of articles about what the metaverse is and isn’t. Constructing standards of what the metaverse is or should be can help us come closer to defining it. 

To do so, the MSF aims to work on implementation prototyping, hackathons and open-source tooling to develop terminology to define metaverse and related technologies and accelerate the speed at which guidelines are created and deployed. Despite the term “metaverse” in its name, the MSF intends to develop standards for other technologies within the metaverse space, like augmented reality, virtual reality, geospatial systems and interactive 3D graphics. Although all of this will help define the metaverse in clearer terms, the MSF concentrates more on providing developers the necessary tools to go out there and design virtual spaces rather than defining the term “metaverse”. 

What the MSF means for the future of the metaverse 

By making the space open and inclusive, the MSF will allow metaverse technologies to develop much faster, thereby accelerating the overall growth of all companies within the space. With companies working together, the overall costs of developing metaverse technologies could also come down considerably. 

To accomplish any of this, the MSF needs all big players in the industry to come together and agree to share their resources. Yet, some of the biggest names in extended reality space (a crucial piece in creating immersive metaverse experiences), like Apple and ByteDance, are missing from the list of MSF members. 

Other big-league companies, like Niantic (creator of Pokémon Go), Roblox, Decentraland and The Sandbox, also haven’t signed on as members. The absence of these companies makes it hard to imagine how the MSF will facilitate an open metaverse. Experts also say that it would be tough for the MSF to achieve its aim for an open metaverse because web 2.0 companies (like Meta) heavily rely on user data, and so their business model is incompatible with an open, decentralized metaverse. 

Whether the MSF would actually be able to achieve any of its goals is yet to be determined. Hopefully, more members will join the forum, and companies will adjust their business to better fit the open and decentralized vision that the MSF has for the metaverse. 

Also read:

Header image courtesy of Freepik


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


How Your Startup Can Retain Employees

How Your Startup Can Retain Employees

A skilled and dedicated team is a startup’s biggest asset. They make your ideas a reality and help establish a harmonious workplace culture and thus attract more top talent. Having employees who have your startup’s best interests at heart can make the difference between winning over investors in a fundraising round and getting no offers at all.

How AI Is Improving Mental Health Therapy

How AI Is Improving Mental Health Therapy

The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a major shift towards telehealth, where people can access healthcare through telecommunication methods, like video calls. As families stayed home to prevent catching a disease that was largely unknown at the time, many had no choice but to turn to electronic health-related services, among them mental health therapy.

Why Are Tech Companies like Meta and Amazon Laying off Employees

Why Are Tech Companies like Meta and Amazon Laying off Employees?

It has not been an easy year for those in the tech industry, witnessing massive layoffs and hiring freezes. For those on the sidelines, the tech bust has been eye-opening, and we understand that even though tech may be the future of the world, it might not be so for employment, as has been validated by CEOs.

Napping inside a Box Is Japan’s Answer to Workplace Exhaustion

Napping inside a Box Is Japan’s Answer to Workplace Exhaustion

Japan has the most hardworking people in the world. Grinding hard is so deeply ingrained into Japanese culture that 37% of companies in the country make their employees work 45 hours or more in overtime every month. The Japanese workforce hesitates to take time off work, so much so that in 2019 it was made legally mandatory for employees to take five days a year off.

The Downsides of Celebrity Endorsements

Brands Cut Ties with Kanye: The Downsides of Celebrity Endorsements

On October 21, the designer clothing brand Balenciaga announced that it would no longer be working with Kanye West. Soon after, other companies, such as Adidas, Gap, the shoe-retailer Foot Locker, talent agency CAA and record label Def Jam, also cut ties with the artist. All of these brands decided to let go of West in such quick succession because of the antisemitic comments he made on social media in early October.

How to Make Money with AI Art

How to Make Money with AI Art

In many of our previous articles, we have talked about artificial intelligence (AI) artists, like DallE and Ai-DA, and how they offer artists the opportunity to create unique collaborative works, such as what LG’s AI artist Tilda did with designer YounHee Park during the New York Fashion Week this year.