A replica of the existing model, Apple vs. everyone else, is on the horizon. In fact, the Cupertino-based company is the big absentee in the Metaverse Standards Forum, a working group to define the Metaverse’s intended open and interoperable standards.
Alibaba, Huawei, Adobe, Microsoft, Epic Games, Meta, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Nvidia, Qualcomm, Sony Interactive Entertainment and 33 other companies and organizations of different types have agreed not to risk each going their own way while trying to avoid the proliferation of proprietary solutions that would actually make the Metaverse deployment take longer because it would complicate, not a little, the experience of customers. Among the goals of the initiative, the Forum will focus on events such as hackathons, prototyping to support common standards and also to the development of consistent terminology to avoid calling things in different ways that would confuse users. “The Metaverse Standards Forum will be essential to an open and inclusive metaverse,” said Neil Trevett, president of Khronos, a consortium formed in 2000 and focused on creating open standards, which is hosting the initiative. The forum, it is explained, is open to any company, standards organization or university through a simple participation agreement.
What about Apple? of course there is no official information given the usual secrecy but unofficially it is known that it is working on its own augmented reality project in which the user will not be estranged from the surrounding reality but this will always be present and on paper this seems a more realistic and less dystopian solution. For three-dimensional content in the metaverse, Apple is working with Pixar on the “USDZ” file format and with Adobe to make sure it supports the format. Apple’s VR viewer is expected to be unveiled between next year and 2024, only then we can see if Apple will again come up with a conceptually better but closed solution as happened with the Mac first and iOS later.