Why Interoperability and Openness Are Critical in Metaverse
Posted By : Priyansha Singh | 25-Mar-2022
Building an Interoperable and Open Metaverse
Interoperability – the ability to unify systems, avatars, and economies across worlds – is one of the pivotal and defining properties of the metaverse. Conceptually, we can elucidate metaverse as the blurring of digital and physical boundaries in our everyday lives. An immensely expansive and limitless virtual space, it has varied definitions that all point towards a single direction: an immersive and hyper-realistic digital world that replicates diverse real-world phenomena.
Metaverse is a decentralized economy subsisting outside of the conventional frugality. It is a space of multidirectional value and a neoteric technology fuelling the construction of new and exciting virtual worlds.
Understanding Metaverse Interoperability
Interoperability is the preeminent driving force behind the development of the metaverse. Let’s take a look at blockchain technology to decode how interoperability works in the metaverse.
In blockchain environments, we have both non-interoperable as well as interoperable platforms. However, interoperability is imperative if we are seeking to devise blockchain-powered high-utility services in the metaverse.
Interoperability equips the blockchain ecosystem to communicate, use one another’s features and services, share arbitrary data, and more. Similarly, interoperability enables a myriad of metaverse projects to function in a unified manner through sharing of services, data, features, and experiences. It also allows cross-platform trading as well as other activities that are nearly impossible to function in siloed spaces.
To understand the concept of metaverse interoperability in a different way, let us take a look at the internet. It is equipped with layered standards that enable diverse networks as well as subnetworks to seamlessly interact with each other.
In the real world, when we move between different locations, our identities also travel from one place to another without any trouble. Even our assets and possessions can be effectively transferred to different locations without undergoing any major changes. It signifies that there is a continuity in the real world that altogether keeps us as well as our assets intact during any transit.
This is the reason why metaverse – the integration of borderless virtual worlds – aims at furnishing a transparent platform for socio-cultural interaction, similar to the physical world. Such amalgamation would make all digital realms, irrespective of their canvas and size, an integral part of a larger existence or entity.
Domains of Interoperability
To illustrate various domains of interoperability in the metaverse, here is a representation for a quick reference:
- Connectivity: Networking, communications
- Persistence: Ownership, Identity, History, Accounting
- Presentation: Physical properties, graphic models
- Meaning: Semantics, metadata, ontologies
- Behavior: Economies, rules, consequence, power
Standards That Offer Interoperability
The first and most sought-after standard for metaverse or the virtual world was Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML). An individual 3D space, VRML is defined as a single world file that can be displayed and downloaded using any browser that is compatible with it. VRML was essentially followed by X3D that scaled up and expanded on the graphics potential of VRML. Then came COLLADA or COLLAborative Design Activity which was an interchange format. The wide usage and immense popularity of COLLADA facilitated an easier exchange of goods, services, and behaviors from one virtual world to the other. In simple terms, COLLADA is not merely a virtual world standard but can also be utilized and leveraged as a general-purpose 3D object interchange mechanism.
Layers of Interoperability in the Metaverse
Interoperability and openness in the metaverse exist in several layers. But to make virtual worlds interoperable, you must construct them on an interoperable blockchain ecosystem. It will ensure that the limitless metaverse is interoperable across all its layers.
- Layer 1- Foundation Layer
- Layer 2- Infrastructure Layer
- Layer 3- Content Layer
- Layer 4- True Metaverse
Protocol standards enable transactional and interactive contracts between the server and the virtual world user. This furnishes a test-and-try scenario for both servers and users within the realms of compatibility. For instance, Open Cobalt is one of the most efficient platforms that makes it relatively easier and more convenient to create hyperlinked and collaborative digital exhibit spaces, virtual multi-user workspaces, and game-based environments that can run on all major software OS.
A locator standard further assists in finding landmarks and places in the metaverse. While the internet is already familiar with such technologies in the form of URLs, it can similarly be completely adapted for virtual landmarks. A prime example is Second Life locations used by the Linden Labs.
Moreover, an identity standard extends unique credentials to the users that can be subsequently used across diverse virtual world boundaries. In comparison to real-world examples, this could be equivalent to our existing social security numbers, license numbers, passports, and more.
A currency standard, on the other hand, defines the value of virtual assets, objects, and creations, thereby enabling their trade, exchange, and transactions. For instance, NFTs have been playing a crucial role in furnishing an open route to buy and sell virtual products in the metaverse whilst enabling digital identity, trust, and ownership in the process.
Reasons Why Openness and Interoperability Are Linchpins of the Metaverse
Beyond theoretical definitions, constructing the metaverse has fomented many ideologies, possibilities, and opportunities. At Oodles Technologies, for instance, we perceive Metaverse as a space where collaboration and interoperability thrive, a tool for community building, and a mechanism for crafting a hyper-realistic and better world. In order to achieve this, it is pivotal to uphold the tenets of an open metaverse, one that is not entirely restricted to the closed economic visions of success but instead, strives for synergy across virtual platforms.
Over a period of time, an open metaverse built on open infrastructure, open-source & shared protocols, and a single open yet unifying financial system will potentially overthrow closed platforms because of the powerful network effects.
With all these in mind, organizations and businesses related to metaverse development can take the following steps to ensure a positive evolution of the metaverse:
- Firstly, sustaining Decentralized Autonomous Organizations or DAO and refocusing attention away from any central or corporate governance. It is extremely important for maintaining communal control of our existing economy and ecosystem.
- Secondly, devising products with flexible utility that can be easily transferred whilst remaining interoperable across diverse platforms. It is the key to promoting and empowering the convivial spirit of the open, borderless metaverse.
Nonetheless, as the metaverse continues to evolve and transfigure, we expect it to entirely pervade the lives of people all across the globe. We intended to craft an open, accessible, and interoperable metaverse that encourages upward social mobility, practical utility, and cultural growth.
As Web 3.0 develops and permeates every aspect of our real and virtual world, it is also vital to consider accessibility as a goal and virtue of the open metaverse. Moreover, with continuous advancements in Web 3.0, we will incessantly get closer to having vividly realistic and ultra-true metaverse experiences. This implies that blockchain technology-based innovations such as DApps and Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) will seemingly power the wonderlands of metaverse in the future.
If you are seeking to integrate metaverse development solutions in your business or wish to know more about how interoperable metaverse can benefit your organization, feel free to drop us a line. Our experts will get back to you within 24 hours.