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Metaverse Interoperability Challenges and Impact

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A metaverse is a shared environment that spans many 3D virtual worlds.participant metaverse You will be able to move freely in these virtual worlds and carry your identities, entitlements, and goods with you.At least that’s how the universe 3D Virtual world works.

However, achieving this vision of an open metaverse that can be easily traversed will require interoperability across multiple capabilities.

said Royal O’Brien, Executive Director of the Open 3D Foundation (O3DF). A source standard for 3D engines used to build games and simulations.

Building and agreeing on standards is usually a laborious process. “For a standard to be successful, it must have a level of trust where one party cannot influence the final design in favor of it,” said O’Brien.

Whether that can happen in the metaverse is an open question. Many of the current major companies in the fledgling metaverse are famous (and profitable) for having their own systems.

However, while the walled garden approach may help companies in the short term, O’Brien and others view it as ultimately preventing the metaverse from blooming, as explained below.

So why is interoperability so important and what needs to be done to achieve it? It depends on how interoperability is defined in the metaverse.

What is metaverse interoperability?

The metaverse is often confused with virtual reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR) A technology used to experience a shared 3D world. But interoperability in the Metaverse goes beyond the ability to share 3D models and visual avatars, says David Smith, founder and CTO of Croquet, a browser-based operating system for the Metaverse. says.

“It is imperative that the metaverse world is fully collaborative, easy to connect via live portals, and that smart objects and components can be moved around the world and reused,” said Smith.

In the interoperable metaverse, your identity and ability to engage in commerce is as seamless as in the real world. Consumers can now bring wallets and smart objects into virtual worlds in the same way they bring their credit cards and backpacks into stores today.

That said, interoperability in the open metaverse is more nuanced and technically more challenging than in the real world. Because we don’t have all the systems and standards in place to make it happen.

Components of Interoperability in the Metaverse

Here are four components of interoperability that need to be addressed in order to create an open and easily traversable metaverse.

Identity. Identity forms the root chain of trust that connects individuals to their actions and assets. Today, consumer identities are often built on a set of trusts linked to email, social media platforms, Google or Apple. Business use cases in the metaverse can be built on top of a company’s existing identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure.

According to O3DF’s O’Brien, the standardization of identity and authentication, transactions, and standard means of data interoperability across multiple immersive platforms will be an essential aspect of metaverse interoperability in the near term. It is said that

“Until you know who you are, how they can interact with you, and how to hand you over to another server experience, you’re going to break your immersion.” and.

Croquet’s Smith added that an ID is more than just an avatar that represents a user. Every user has multiple avatar representations, sometimes multiple avatars in the same world. IDs help associate a wealth of information with an avatar, including preferences, history, reputation, abilities, and more, as well as the avatar’s wallet.

3D rendering. There are many levels of standardization of 3D representations of virtual worlds. 3D modeling and rendering engines must interoperate. AR, VR, and augmented reality headsets need to work across platforms. A user should be able to share his 3D objects across platforms and render them at scale.

I see progress. Jonathan Girroir, Technical Evangelist at Tech Soft 3D, a software development kit provider, said: these worlds. ”

Promising approaches include:

  • A graphics language transmission format for sharing 3D objects.
  • Universal Scene Description (USD) open file format for sharing 3D worlds.
  • fbx for sharing textures and lighting effects.When
  • 3D tiles for efficient streaming of 3D content at scale.

behavior and properties. We need a standard way to characterize the behavior and properties of objects in the metaverse that translate between platforms.These are what make the objects in the metaverse come alive and responsive to users,” said Smith. To do that, behaviors and properties must be persistent, copyable, and transferable between worlds.

The industrial metaverse can include the physical properties and costs of components or materials within an object to automatically calculate a bill of materials. Nvidia defends the PhysX engine as one of his approaches for describing physics in the industrial metaverse.

data sharingAn open metaverse also requires a decentralized approach to sharing information around the world. Distributed ledgers like blockchain have been advocated as one approach. Early blockchain use cases were Non-fungible token (NFTs) allow people to buy and sell assets such as art and land over the web. In the future, more sophisticated NFTs may enable complex revenue sharing agreements. For example, if multiple artists remix their songs into new compilations and become popular, you can automatically receive royalties.

In contrast, web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee individual Anything that doesn’t use blockchain. This allows individuals to control how their data is reused after the fact. This could prove important for the metaverse use case of companies creating value for consumers, patients, and citizens while respecting the changing wishes of their owners.

Here we describe the main building blocks of an interoperable metaverse and the major challenges that stand in their way.

Why is interoperability important in the metaverse?

The initial focus of the interoperable metaverse is on the consumer market, said those we interviewed. It is important for consumers to know that the value of their virtual assets can be maintained even if they change platforms. Ideally, an avatar should be able to purchase Nike sneakers on her one virtual platform and wear them on another.

Everest Group analyst Yugal Joshi says interoperability isn’t just necessary for consumers to be confident their purchases will work across platforms. Ultimately, it will also require generating sales and establishing a metaverse economy, as others have argued, he said.

Moving forward, the metaverse economy will expand interoperability to include business use cases and capabilities, Joshi said.For example, a company may wish to share digital twin Engage your supply chain or its warehouses with trusted business partners to improve joint planning and coordination, or accelerate virtual training of new robots.

Interoperability challenges in the metaverse

Today, most immersive virtual worlds or digital twins exist in separate environments. Tech Soft 3D’s Girroir says a lot of development needs to be done to open up these environments and reduce the friction of moving applications between platforms. His team works on transforming his 3D data between various architectural, engineering, design and entertainment applications.

Girroir says 3D data from tools like AutoCAD, Blender and other 3D software will form the foundation of the Metaverse, helping companies connect the digital and physical worlds. Enterprises should think about fusing lidar data captured in point cloudwhich combines vector data representing buildings and physical data representing how objects behave in the real world into a single comprehensive view of a given asset or process.

There is also growing interest in moving this kind of enterprise 3D data to the most popular gaming 3D engines from Unity, Epic, and Nvidia. All these platforms have faster and more realistic rendering capabilities than traditional engineering tools.

Geographic information systems giant Esri recently announced partnerships with both Unity and Epic to enable companies to render GIS data in their 3D game engines. Meanwhile, Siemens and his Nvidia are partnering to build the so-called industrial metaverse, which aims to develop autonomous factories, improve product design and enable the next evolution of industrial automation.

While progress has been made, significant challenges remain in the pursuit of metaverse interoperability. Here are three.

shared behavior

Sharing smart components, including avatar functionality, is essential to the growth and expansion of the metaverse. “What an object looks like is only a fraction of its value, but what it can do in the Metaverse world is much more important and especially difficult to achieve,” said Crockett’s Smith. This is especially important in a collaborative world where these components need to interoperate instantly and fully with multiple users as if they were a single local object.

vendor lock-in

Everest Group’s Joshi believes that many metaverse platforms are built to lock in customers. Although the platform claims to be decentralized and open, he found that their legal terms differ. As a result, users will lose their assets forever if the platform decides to shut down. There is a possibility.

technical difference

Technical challenges, such as differences in 3D rendering engines, also hinder metaverse interoperability, Joshi said. He believes these differences can be overcome if there is a commitment to do so from the vendors building the platform.

Interoperability in the Metaverse — Coming Soon or Just a Dream?

At this point, an interoperable metaverse is more of an idea than a reality. Vendors and application developers currently use different approaches for each interoperability domain. In a truly interoperable metaverse, all participants use the same standards and formats in their processes.

In the meantime, many metaverse use cases will work fine with limited interoperability in some of these domains. For example, someone could bring a sneaker between worlds with a certain narrow agreement about identity and underlying 3D rendering.

However, more advanced workflows, especially in enterprise use cases, require greater agreement on more aspects. For example, an industrial digital twin of a factory uses sensors from different vendors, 3D rendering to share data across different applications and tools, and identity management to enhance security between individuals and machines. , it may be necessary to bring together physical plant data.

It takes time when an open metaverse occurs. It took the industry decades to develop standards for basic web interactivity and then enable basic web and mobile applications. Specifications for 3D interactivity and distributed data sharing are still in the formative stages as companies discover the most promising use cases and profitable business models.

It could take another decade for interoperability to converge on mobile today. In some cases, there is no interoperability at all. For example, many mobile experiences are very similar between Apple and Google devices. Meanwhile, Tim Cook has publicly stated that he has no plans to extend the Apple Messaging experience to other mobile devices. The metaverse could also have the same nuance.

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