Companies including Adobe, Alibaba, Huawei, IKEA, Meta, Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Qualcomm Technologies, and the World Wide Web Consortium have banded together to form The Metaverse Standards Forum.
The forum will leverage industry-wide cooperation on interoperability standards needed to build the open metaverse and explore where the lack of interoperability is holding back metaverse deployment. It will also explore how the work of Standards Developing Organisations defining and evolving needed standards may be coordinated and accelerated.
Apple and Alphabet, however, are missing from the lineup even though Channel NewsAsia reported in January that CEO Tim Cook teased its metaverse ambitions then, stating that it will further invest in having more AR apps on its App Store. CNBC also reported in January that Google has a new team that focuses on operating systems for AR. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Apple and Alphabet for comment.
Hosted by computer software company Khronos Group, the Forum is open to any organisation or university at no cost 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.
It also aims to foster consensus-based cooperation between diverse Standards Developing Organisations and companies to define and align requirements and priorities for metaverse standards—accelerating their availability and reducing duplication of effort across the industry.
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.
Neil Trevett, Khronos president, said 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.
A recent report by McKinsey & Company titled "Value creation in the metaverse" found that the metaverse will generate up to US$5 trillion in impact by 2030, equivalent to the size of Japan, the world's third-largest economy today.
The potential market impact of the metaverse on eCommerce is expected to be between US$2 trillion and US$2.6 trillion by 2030. Similarly, it is estimated to have an impact of US$180 billion to US$270 billion on the academic virtual learning market, a US$144 billion to US$206 billion impact on the ad market, and a US$108 billion to US$125 billion impact on the gaming market.
According to McKinsey, the metaverse is shaping up to be "the biggest new growth opportunity for several industries in the coming decade" due to its potential to enable new business models, products, and services. The metaverse also serves as an engagement channel for both B2B and B2C purposes.
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