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Metaverse interoperability:
The key to a networked virtual future

Metaverse interoperability

Cross-platform compatibility in the metaverse: Bridging virtual worlds

The metaverse, an expansive digital universe, offers immense opportunities for virtual interaction. However, its full potential is currently held back by one major obstacle: the lack of cross-platform compatibility. This challenge stems from the lack of universal standards for metaverse applications, which prevents consistent connections between different virtual environments.

The crucial need for interoperability standards

The dream of a seamless metaverse experience depends on interoperability, i.e. the ability to navigate smoothly through different virtual spaces. The lack of standardized protocols or guidelines for metaverse applications results in isolated platforms, each limited to their own ecosystem. This fragmentation hinders the creation of a unified, networked metaverse.

Digital property and interoperability

A central facet of interoperability is the management of digital property. In an interoperable metaverse, users could seamlessly transfer their digital assets, such as avatars, clothing and other virtual goods, between different platforms. This aspect is crucial for the user experience and for the development of a coherent digital market within the metaverse.

The dilemma of object transfer in the metaverse: How does digital ownership work across platforms?

In the context of interoperability in the metaverse, the concept of digital property that can be transferred between different platforms is a particularly challenging issue. While the transfer of avatars or their clothing between different metaverse environments seems relatively straightforward and sensible, it becomes more complex when it comes to more specific items, such as a magical sword from a game. Such objects are often deeply embedded in the gameplay and rules of a particular virtual world. Transferring such an item to another metaverse, which may have completely different game mechanics, stories and designs, raises questions: How does the item retain its functionality and meaning without disrupting the balance or experience in the new environment? There is a risk that the item becomes either overly powerful or completely useless in a different context. This issue underscores the need to develop standards not only for portability, but also for the adaptability and functionality of digital goods in different metaverse environments.

The fragmented state of the Metaverse platforms

Today's metaverse landscape is diverse, with platforms developed using different technologies and protocols. This diversity leads to innovation, but also creates barriers to interoperability, making a consistent user experience across all platforms a challenge.


The potential role of major players in promoting interoperability

  • Epic Games with the Unreal Engine:

    Epic Games is a leading provider of gaming engines and has one of the most popular and powerful toolsets for creating 3D content, the Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine is used by millions of developers worldwide to create games, movies, TV shows and other immersive experiences.

    Epic Games could use its widespread use of Unreal in game development to promote interoperability standards. For example, the company could develop its Unreal Engine so that VR applications based on Unreal are compatible with each other. This would allow developers to publish their content on a variety of platforms, increasing the reach and success of their games and other applications.

  • Microsoft with Mesh and Xbox: Microsoft could integrate professional collaboration tools into entertainment platforms to promote cross-platform connectivity.
  • Meta with Quest 3: Meta could play a central role in creating interoperability, especially for VR experiences for consumers. However, Meta is currently still relying on a legally closed system.
  • Apple with Apple Vision Pro:

    Apple is another new major player in the metaverse sector. The company has developed Apple Vision Pro, a new platform for immersive AR and VR experiences. Apple Vision Pro is a powerful platform that enables developers to create highly realistic and interactive metaverse applications.

    Apple could set new standards for interoperability. Apple could set new standards for interoperability. The company has already repeatedly established standards within its ecosystem in the past. So why not in the area of the metaverse too?


The path to a standardized metaverse

Global collaboration is required to achieve a unified metaverse. The participation of the major platforms could be key in this endeavor as they lead by example and promote the industry-wide adoption of interoperability standards.


The Chinese government's interest in metaverse standards

The Chinese government's interest in setting metaverse standards could accelerate the development of regulations and influence the global metaverse ecosystem.

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A fully interoperable metaverse that seamlessly connects different virtual experiences remains a goal that is hindered by the lack of universal standards. The potential role of major companies such as Epic Games, Microsoft, Meta and Apple could be crucial in moving the industry towards this goal. Together with regulatory initiatives such as in China, there is hope for a future where the metaverse is a unified, inclusive digital world.


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Clarence Dadson CEO Design4real