The Khronos Group is hosting The Metaverse Standards Forum, which brings together leading companies and standards organizations for industry-wide cooperation on interoperability needed to build an open metaverse for industry and society.
The Forum’s Role
The Forum’s primary purpose is to explore and learn about how a lack of interoperability is holding back building out an open metaverse. The Forum will work to show how and define how much-needed standards can be coordinated and accelerated. In essence, the Forum’s primary goal is to encourage standards development that will aid and support a truly open metaverse for the industry.
The Forum is open at zero cost to organizations and firms. And it 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.
Metaverse Needs Openness
Many industry leaders feel that the metaverse will not meet its successful possibilities if closed and proprietary in nature. An open standards-based metaverse will.
Building on an open and inclusive metaverse at a pervasive scale will require a constellation of open interoperability standards created by SDOs (Standards Developing Organizations). Such SDOs include:
- The Khronos Group
- World Wide Web Consortium
- Open Geospatial Consortium
- Open AR Cloud
- Spatial Web Foundation
- And others…
The Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF) will foster cooperation between SDOs via a consensus-based process, defining and aligning priorities and requirements for metaverse standards and interoperability.
Hosted by the Khronos Group, the Forum is open to any company, standards organization, or university at no charge through a simple click-through Participant Agreement. Companies that wish to provide Forum oversight, and may wish to fund Forum projects, can choose to become a Principal member.
The activities of the Forum will be directed by the needs and interests of its members and may involve diverse technology domains such as 3D assets and rendering, human interface and interaction paradigms such as AR and VR, user-created content, avatars, identity management, privacy, and financial transactions. Forum meetings are expected to start in July 2022. More information on joining can be found at metaverse-standards.
Forum Founding Members’ Statements
Below are a sampling of statements:
“Adobe is excited to join the Metaverse Standards Forum,” said Stefano Corazza, vice president and fellow of AR at Adobe. “It is in our history to contribute to the industry by defining foundational standards for digital experiences, as we did with PDF and DNG. Establishing standards is essential to foster collaboration in the Metaverse, and to allow this new ecosystem to truly flourish.”
“Alibaba is pleased to join The Metaverse Standards Forum which encourages collaboration on interoperability standards of the open metaverse,” said Dr Tan Ping, head of XR Lab, Alibaba DAMO Academy. “We look forward to sharing our technology knowhow and joining global industry leaders to accelerate constructive dialogues to advance new initiatives in the metaverse space.”
“We are thrilled to be a founding member of the Metaverse Standards Forum as it fosters open standards and collaboration that will unlock the full potential of metaverse experiences,” said Eric Bourque, VP of Engineering, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk. “The future of design and make is the industrial metaverse where designers, builders, manufacturers, and content creators can make better, more informed decisions quickly.”
“We are thrilled to help launch the Metaverse Standards Forum, a collaborative industry-led effort founded to accelerate the development and adoption of interoperability standards,” said Marc Petit, VP of Unreal engine ecosystem at Epic Games. “Our goal is to build an open metaverse that enriches humanity and is home to a thriving, fair ecosystem with millions of creators.”
“The Metaverse Standards Forum provides a vital and unique open venue for the industry to work together to accelerate the availability of interoperability standards that will enable diverse metaverse experiences,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president. “Khronos is honored to work alongside the industry leaders in the Forum to foster concrete actions and projects to ‘move the metaverse needle’ forward.”
“NVIDIA understands the Metaverse as an evolution of the Internet—from today’s 2D view of the web today to an immersive 3D spatial overlay. For the metaverse to be successful and ubiquitous, it must be built on open standards, just like today’s 2D web,” said Rev Lebaredian, vice president, Omniverse & Simulation Technology at NVIDIA. “We are thrilled to join the Metaverse Standards Forum to help the community usher in a new era of collaborative and open 3D standards that will form the foundation of the metaverse.”
“As we enter a new era of spatial computing and holographic mixed reality, OTOY is thrilled to contribute to the Metaverse Standards Forum,” said Jules Urbach, CEO and founder of OTOY Inc. “Open standards developed in collaboration with the leading SDO will provide a framework for building an open metaverse that has the potential to reshape how we communicate, transform our creative economy, and power new industries built on advanced 3D visualization. We are looking forward to collaborating with industry leaders in the Metaverse Standards Forum, contributing our experiences at the forefront of 3D graphics and blockchain cloud computing.”
About the Metaverse Forum
The Metaverse Standards Forum brings together companies and standards organizations to foster alignment on requirements and priorities for metaverse interoperability standards, and accelerate their development and deployment through pragmatic, action-based projects. Open to any organization at no cost, founding members include 0xSenses, Adobe, Alibaba, Autodesk, Cesium, Disguise, the Enosema Foundation, Epic, the Express Language Foundation, Google, Huawei, IKEA, Khronos, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAR Cloud, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Otoy, Perey Consulting, Qualcomm, Ribose, Sony, The Spatial Web Foundation (IEEE P2874), Unity, VerseMaker, the Web3D Consortium, and the World Wide Web Consortium. Learn more at metaverse-standards.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
This latest push for metaverse standardization is crucial. Major tech companies are building their version of the metaverse on their own technology stacks. Architosh has already written about NVIDIA’s Omniverse. Apple will likely build out its version of the metaverse using its own technology stacks unified across its iOS, iPadOS, and macOS operating systems. Likewise for Unity and Epic, the latter of which will build out its metaverse using Fortnite game technology.
Last year at Architosh’s SIGGRAPH 2021 coverage, Akiko Ashley wrote extensively about 2021 being the Year of the Metaverse and covered technology developments in this metaverse space. It will be interesting to see how the standards groups formulate interop standards and around what data-transport technology like USD (Universe Scene Description) file formats and the like.