XR Masters CEO Ali Hantal appeared as a guest writer in the September issue of Digital Report magazine with his article titled “Is it possible for the Metaverse to be like the Internet?”, where he wrote about the the concepts of Metaverse and Multiverse, the combination of AR and VR in the Metaverse, required standards and protocols for the Metaverse to be open, interoperable and democratic like the internet, and the activities of Open AR Cloud Association in this area.
You can access the original article in Turkish here & the English translation below.
Is it possible for the Metaverse to be like the Internet?
One of the concepts we hear the most these days is “Metaverse”. But will the Metaverse be a public network like the internet? Or will it consist of many different universes? Before answering these questions, let’s remember that there are two kinds of Metaverses. One of them is augmented reality (AR) based and the other is virtual reality (VR) based metaverse. The augmented reality-based Metaverse is newer and less well-known than the virtual reality-based one.
We can think of this Metaverse, which is also called the Real World Metaverse or AR Cloud, as the Internet existing in the real world. Pokemon Go can be considered as one of the best examples of this kind of Metaverse, where users can experience the intersection of the real world and the virtual world without breaking away from what is happening around them. Experiencing this Metaverse is possible through mobile phones or mixed reality glasses like Hololens and Magic Leap.
A public network? Or a collection of multiverses?
Roblox or Sandbox are examples for virtual reality-based Metaverses. Since the limit is human imagination in such platforms, non-human avatars and variety of universes will be created where physical rules do not apply. Each of these can be thought of as separate computer games independent from each other. In other words, if virtual reality-based platforms continue in this format, it seems that it will be a collection of multiverses rather than a unified network.
On the other hand, when we look at the AR-based Metaverse, there are a few important features.
For example, all AR content is created in the real world and users can experience this universe themselves without the need for an avatar.
The common denominator is actually the world we live in, and an environment conducive to developing standards and protocols is created. For example, the ‘Open AR Cloud Association’ (OARC) has worked with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) for nearly three years to develop unified Geopose Standards, and these standards are about to go into effect very soon. This step, which is very important for the determination and clarification of the geo-spatial position of an AR content or an AR device on earth, may be a turning point in the history of the Metaverse.
But unfortunately, the creation of these standards does not make sense on its own.
For the standards to work, large companies in the market also need to adapt their systems to these standards. If this environment is provided, it will be technically possible for multiple AR-based Metaverses to access each other’s content.
In this way, the AR-based Metaverse will become an open and interoperable public network, just like the Internet.
What would our world be like if the Internet consisted of “intranets”?
As we all know and experience today, since there is more than one mobile application store, mobile application developers have to create and publish more than one of the mobile applications they create. Think about it, what would our world be like if the internet did not have a single worldwide network (www) but consisted of many “intranets” without standards, as in mobile applications?
How inefficient it would be for entrepreneurs to reach the whole world by creating and publishing separate websites for these multiple intranets with different standards. Now, thanks to the standards such as HTML and URL, creating a single website does the job.
The existence of “multiverses” presents the exact same risk. The fact that we all need to be aware of is that if we do not take the necessary steps immediately in the Metaverse, we may have to face the same inefficient experience we have in the mobile applications market.