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Do We Really Know What the Metaverse Is?
Ali Cumhur Hantal, CEO of XR Masters, Testbed Coordinator of the International Open AR Cloud (OARC) Association and founding member of Turkey’s first Metaverse Association, said that current experiences are generally divided into different Metaverses instead of a ‘Metaverse’, so he states that they should be called as Multiverses.
For Multiverses to become a Metaverse, first of all, there must be a real Metaverse infrastructure and global standards and protocols must evolve. An international committee of 12 people, including Ali Cumhur Hantal, is working to develop these standards and protocols under the umbrella of the Open AR Cloud Association.
This new Metaverse era, which is defined as the future of the internet, education, tourism, culture, commerce and even human communication, will undoubtedly change a lot, in which people will interact and communicate with other people and three-dimensional objects in the three-dimensional beyond. However, instead of calling the currently existing experiences a ‘Metaverse’ experience in general, it would be more accurate to call them experiences belonging to different Metaverses or Multiverses.
We can compare today’s Metaverse applications to the Intranet, which was the starting point of the internet in the past. After the concept of Metaverse was introduced, everything virtual or augmented began to be defined as Metaverse. Although there is no consensus yet, experts state that for an experience to be called a real Metaverse experience, it must first be experienced by more than one user simultaneously. In an AR cloud based Metaverse, it will be possible to talk about a “Metaverse” instead of multiverses, thanks to the fact that an AR object placed on the real world can be displayed in another Metaverse in the same place and in the same way with the approval of the user.
Real World Metaverse = AR Cloud
Metaverse can be technically experienced in two different ways, one based on Virtual Reality and the other based on Augmented Reality Cloud. In the Virtual Reality-based universe, users enter fully simulated meta-universes through Virtual Reality glasses or two-dimensional screens. In Augmented Reality Cloud-based universes, also defined as the Real World Metaverse, users can experience the virtual universe intertwined with the real universe with Mobile Augmented Reality Cloud applications or Augmented Reality Cloud Headsets. They enter a universe that is fully integrated with the virtual environment, without breaking away from the real space they are in, and they can experience the virtual and the real simultaneously, interact with each other. They are able to build meaningful relationships with real location-based, face-to-face contacts.
The Institution Approving Google Maps Standards Also Sets Metaverse Standards!
In order for Multiverses to be a Metaverse and accessible to everyone, first of all, there must be a Metaverse infrastructure and global standards, and protocols must evolve. Open Augmented Reality Cloud Association, which has been working for two years to create these standards and protocols, has an international management team of 12 people, including XR Masters CEO Ali Cumhur Hantal, together with more than 300 members of the association. The standard developed by Open AR Cloud, which is authorized by the Open Geospatial Consortium, one of the top organizations in this field, which has made the standards used by Google in two-dimensional maps accepted all over the world, is currently in the approval phase. If this Geopose standard is one day used by all multiverses in existence, these multiverses will be interoperable and able to talk to each other. Thus, a content in one Metaverse will be viewable in other Metaverses.
It Aims to Democratize the Real World Metaverse with Open-Source Code
XR Masters team, which has signed many important projects in the field of software for more than twenty years and provides information technology strategies to global companies, has been doing R&D studies and software developments on Metaverse technologies for the last seven years. The company is also among the top 500 companies to write apps for Microsoft Hololens, the world’s first mixed reality glasses. XR Masters, which was established in Silicon Valley in 2015 to develop Extended Reality solutions, today carries out its R&D and innovation studies with the world’s leading companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Ernst & Young.
Thanks to the Metaverse Content Management Platform developed by XR Masters, users can create permanent and shareable Augmented Reality Cloud experiences in Metaverse without the need for any coding knowledge. The Open AR Cloud Association, to which XR Masters made the first code donation, aims to democratize the Real World Metaverse with open-source code. XR Masters and Open AR Cloud have already started scanning with this open-source code, which has been worked on by all the leading universities, especially MIT and Stanford, to make development.
He aims to add Turkey to the metaverse map
Aiming to scan the whole of Turkey and make a digital copy of it and add it to the Metaverse map, XR Masters plans to produce content about daily life in our country thanks to the technology it has developed, and to transfer the historical and cultural heritage to future generations through special platforms that can be provided in the new universe. With the agreement of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, which uses XR Masters infrastructure, with the Open AR Cloud Association, Ankara became the fourth test city of Open AR Cloud in the world, after Los Angeles, Bari and Helsinki.
The First Metaverse Content Management Platform Using the Geopose Standard is at XR Masters!
XR Masters, which has the first Metaverse Content Management Platform that uses the Geographical Positioning (Geopose) standard developed by the Open AR Cloud Association, also licenses this technology to its corporate customers. Thanks to the XRM Metaverse Content Management Platform developed by XR Masters in accordance with this standard, Augmented Reality contents, unlike GPS-based experiences, can be precisely placed on both indoor and outdoor spaces and can be experienced permanently. Compatible with Apple and Android devices, the platform will soon support Mixed Reality glasses such as Hololens, Magic Leap and NReal.
Who is Ali Cumhur Hantal?
Ali Cumhur Hantal, XR Masters founder, OnSiteViewer co-founder, Open AR Cloud (OARC) Association Senior Test Bed Coordinator, Augmented World Expo (AWE) Nite Istanbul leader and member of the North American Board of Directors of the World Turkish Business Council (DTIK), affiliated to DEIK.
Mezun.com, which was founded by Hantal, a ‘serial entrepreneur and technology lover’, with his schoolmates while he was studying for an MBA in the USA in 1999, managed to become the one stop point for those who want to learn about education and life in the USA in a very short time.
The company, which succeeded in creating the most reliable and reputable portal in the market by showing Mezun.com as the source on the sites of many reliable institutions, including the American Embassy, was selected as the fastest growing company in the Baltimore-Washington DC Metropolitan Region in 2004. In the same year, it changed its name to Graduate Group. Mezun Group was named “Fastest Growing Private Company” by Baltimore Economics Magazine in 2003 and was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s 2004 Entrepreneur Awards held in Maryland.
Ali Cumhur Hantal, who moved to Silicon Valley in 2013, met with Oculus’ first version Virtual Reality glasses in 2014, when it was not yet sold to Facebook. He experienced that the Virtual Reality technology, which he had tested before but required very expensive hardware, is now available to users at affordable prices and more easily. Thus, he founded XR Masters in 2015, focusing on XR technologies blended with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
This young and dynamic company became one of the first companies to develop applications for Microsoft Hololens Mixed Reality glasses in 2016. In this way, he had the opportunity to work with the R&D teams of global companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Ernst & Young, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Turkcell, Koç Sistem and EnerjiSA.
The team, which has been developing its own Metaverse Content Management Platform since 2019, has developed the first and only Spatial Browser mobile application in the world that is compatible with Open Augmented Reality Cloud and Geopose standards. Another investment of Hantal was OnSiteViewer, a company founded in Norway that develops photo-realistic Metaverse technologies on 5G infrastructure.
After graduating from FMV Private Nişantaşı Işık High School in 1992, Ali Cumhur Hantal graduated from Boğaziçi University, Department of Management in 1997, and completed his MBA education at the University of Baltimore in 1999. Between 1999 and 2002, he taught at the University of Baltimore as a lecturer in the Faculty of Administrative Sciences.