The group of tech-world heavyweights who gathered informally last year to figure out how early metaverse developers can set common standards announced today that it’s officially incorporating as a nonprofit — a move its leaders said will help formalize its membership structure and accelerate that process of (eventual) rule-setting.
The Metaverse Standards Forum, a body that includes Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, and more than 2400 other companies, has been quietly working since last summer to coordinate what topics (like safety and privacy, 3D graphics standards, and digital identity) should be prioritized when it comes time to develop the metaverse’s standards. It’ll now be redoubling those efforts as an incorporated nonprofit, something I spoke about yesterday morning with Neil Trevett, the forum’s chair, who said the move is essentially a formal statement that these groups are in the process of metaverse development for the long haul.
I also asked him about a major elephant in the room when it comes to this process, and the Forum itself — the absence of Apple, which is widely expected to make its own entry into virtual reality later this year.
“I think their participation could be very, very significant,” Trevett said, pitching Apple’s lack of participation so far as replicating a longstanding dynamic between “open” and “closed” business models. “More participation from more companies is always welcome, but we shouldn’t stop fostering opportunity on [the open] end of the spectrum just because any company decides to be on the other end.” — Derek Robertson
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