Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia and other tech giants racing to build the emerging metaverse concept have formed a group - Metaverse Standards Forum - to foster development of industry standards that would make the companies’ nascent digital worlds compatible with each other.
Participants in the forum include many of the biggest companies working in the space, from chip makers to gaming companies. Some of the names include: 0xSenses, Adobe, Alibaba, Autodesk, Avataar, Epic Games, the Express Language Foundation, Huawei, IKEA, Khronos, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, OpenAR Cloud, Qualcomm Technologies, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Unity, among others.
The forum also includes established standards-setting bodies like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Web3D Consortium and the XR Association (XRA), the group said in a statement announcing the creation of the forum.
“The Forum will explore where the lack of interoperability is holding back metaverse deployment and how the work of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) defining and evolving needed standards may be coordinated and accelerated,” according to an official statement.
“The metaverse will bring together diverse technologies, requiring a constellation of interoperability standards, created and maintained by many standards organizations,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president.
“The Metaverse Standards Forum is a unique venue for coordination between standards organisations and industry, with a mission to foster the pragmatic and timely standardisation that will be essential to an open and inclusive metaverse,” he added.
“Building a metaverse for everyone will require an industry-wide focus on common standards. The Metaverse Standards Forum can drive the collaboration that’s needed to make this possible. Creators, developers and companies will all benefit from the technologies and experiences that will be made possible by common protocols,” said Vishal Shah, vice president of Metaverse at Meta.
Meta, known as Facebook until it changed its name as part of its metaverse spin last year, has disclosed plans for a mixed-reality headset code-named “Cambria” to be released this year.
The forum is open to any organisation at no costs, and will focus on pragmatic, action-based projects such as implementation prototyping, hackathons, plugfests, and open-source tooling to accelerate the testing and adoption of metaverse standards, while also developing consistent terminology and deployment guidelines, the statement said.
Strangely, Apple, which expects believe can become a dominant player in the metaverse space once it introduces a mixed reality headset this year or next is missing from the list. The US-tech major had also reportedly been working with Pixar on the “USDZ” file format and with Adobe to build three-dimensional content in the metaverse.
Also, Gaming companies Roblox and Niantic also were not included among the forum's participants, nor were emerging crypto-based metaverse platforms like The Sandbox or Decentraland.