Meta and other technology giants are setting metaverse standards, without Apple

June 21 (Reuters) – Meta (META.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and other technology giants fighting to build the new metaverse concept have formed a group to advance the development of industry standards that will make companies’ emerging digital worlds compatible with each other.

Participants in the Metaverse Standards Forum include many of the largest companies working in space, from chipmakers to gaming companies, as well as established standards-setting bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the group said in a statement announcing its creation on Tuesday.

Notable shortcomings on the membership list so far, however, are Apple (AAPL.O), which analysts expect to become a dominant player in the metaverse race when they introduce a mixed reality headset this year or next. read more

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The gaming companies Roblox and Niantic were also not included among the forum’s participants, nor were new crypto-based metaverse platforms such as The Sandbox or Decentraland.

Apple has not yet publicly acknowledged the plans for a headset, although it should have given the board a sneak peek at the product, according to Bloomberg. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new metaverse forum.

The logo of Meta Platforms is seen in Davos, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. Photo taken May 22, 2022. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

Introducing such a device will put Apple in direct competition with Meta, which has invested the future in the growth of the meta-verse and invested heavily in hardware to make its vision of interconnected virtual worlds a reality.

Meta, known as Facebook until it changed its name as part of its metaverse pivot last year, has revealed plans for a mixed reality headset with the codename “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 meta-version, Apple worked with Pixar on the “USDZ” file format and with Adobe to ensure that it supported the format.

Neil Trevett, a leader at chipmaker Nvidia who heads 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 number of standard organizations and companies to achieve “real interoperability” in the meta-verse, he said, without addressing how Apple’s absence would affect this goal.

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Reporting by Katie Paul; additional reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.