Meta, Microsoft, and other tech giants battling to build the emerging concept of the metaverse have formed a group to foster the development of industry standards that would make nascent corporate digital worlds compatible with each other.
Metaverse Standards Forum attendees include many of the biggest companies working in the space, from chipmakers to game companies, as well as established standards bodies like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the group said in a press release announcing its creation on Tuesday.
However, Apple is conspicuously absent from the membership list at the moment, and analysts expect it to become a dominant player in the race for the metaverse once it introduces a mixed reality headset this year or so. the next.
Gaming companies Roblox and Niantic were also not among the forum participants, nor were emerging crypto-based metaverse platforms like The Sandbox or Decentraland.
Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge its headphone plans, although it has given its board a preview of the product, according to Bloomberg. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new metaverse forum.
Introducing such a device would put Apple in direct competition with Meta, which has staked its future on the growth of the Metaverse and invested heavily in hardware to realize its vision of interconnected virtual worlds.
Meta, known as Facebook until it changed its name as part of its metaverse pivot last year, has unveiled plans for a mixed reality headset dubbed “Cambria” to be released this year.
Apple has been heavily involved in creating web standards such as HTML5 in the past. For three-dimensional content in the Metaverse, Apple has worked with Pixar on the “USDZ” file format and with Adobe to ensure it supports the format.
Neil Trevett, an executive at chipmaker Nvidia who chairs the Metaverse Standards Forum, said in a statement to Reuters that any company is welcome to join the group, including participants from the crypto world.
The forum aims to facilitate communication between a variety of standards bodies and companies to ensure “real-world interoperability” in the metaverse, he said, without addressing how the Apple’s absence would affect that goal.
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