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META and Microsoft together create the Metaverse standards; Apple, Google sit out

Parties interested in turning Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite discussion into reality announced Wednesday that they have formed the Metaverse Standards Forum. Meta is a founding member, naturally, and big tech names like Adobe, Microsoft, and Nvidia are also founding members. However, the initial subscription notably lacks participation from Apple and Google.

The platform, according to today’s announcement, aims to “foster the development of open standards for the metaverse.”

“The forum will explore how the lack of interoperability is preventing Metaverse deployment and how standards developing organizations (SDOs) work to define and evolve,” the group said in its announcement.

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

Apple, which is expected to release AR headsets by 2023, is not participating. Nor does Alphabet, which owns Google. Both sides have previously joined open industry groups, including Matter and FIDO, but neither has promoted the phrase “metaverse”.

Speaking of development of its unannounced (but much-discussed) AR headset, CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s role in the metaverse market is “a big question” in Apple’s Q1 2022 earnings call in January.

“We are always exploring new and emerging technologies… Right now, we have more than 14,000 AR Kit apps in the App Store, providing incredible AR experiences for millions of people today,” Cook said in a statement on Apple’s Metaverse plans. When asked about. for a Seeking Alpha transcript. We see a lot of potential in this area and are investing accordingly.

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Google has been tipped with a new AR headset of its own. And AR is a well-known feature of various Google products, from Pixel phones to software.

Google also joined the VR Standards Initiative in 2016, as noted by TechCrunch, with the then-Oculus VR brand of then-Facebook. The initiative was led by The Cronos Group, a non-profit focused on emerging technologies that is also hosting the Metaverse Standards Forum.

The new group offers free, open membership, so both companies can join the Metaverse forum down the line. But with so many questions surrounding the Metaverse—what that all means and how it will be monetized and operated—we’re not surprised that some of the big names in tech aren’t eager to sign up. There is also a fact that Meta is adamant about using a term that is synonymous with its own brand.

Those organizations will recall “practical, action-based projects,” such as “implementation prototyping, hackathons, plugfests, and open-source tooling 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 deployment guidelines.”

The group’s focus will vary depending on membership, but potential topics are “3D assets and rendering, human interface and interaction paradigms, such as AR and VR, user-generated content, avatars, identity management, privacy and financial transactions.”

The Metaverse Standards Forum also highlighted potential areas of collaborative spatial computing, which include AR and VR, but also “photorealistic content authoring, geospatial systems, end-user content tooling, digital twins, real-time collaboration, physical simulation, online economies.” “. ,” even more.

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

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