Who wants to be stuck in a company’s metaverse meeting room when your favorite band is performing in the next metaverse over? Virtual reality offers an exciting promise: we, as our awesomely chill avatars, can excuse ourselves from a work meeting, take a few virtual steps over to Concert Land, buy a ticket, and join a fun new experience in 60 seconds or less.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple yet. We can’t jump from one virtual world to another without first going through several time-consuming processes. We might need to log out of our current space, create a new account in the following location, create a new avatar, exchange our current virtual currency for the currency that works in the new area, and leave behind objects bought in other places.
Avoiding that hassle is one reason organizations like the Metaverse Standards Forum and the Open Metaverse Foundation strive to develop open standards and software that support a fully interoperable metaverse.
What Will Common Standards Accomplish For The Metaverse?
Common standards will allow various virtual reality platforms to communicate with each other and work together seamlessly without any compatibility issues. This is an essential step forward.
By establishing guidelines for interoperability, we can create a more integrated virtual reality ecosystem that benefits everyone. The standards will likely include aspects like:
- A common language for virtual reality applications and interfaces
- A standard format for 3D models and textures
- Paradigms for how virtual objects should interact with each other
- Identity management and financial transaction verification standards.
Consider how virtual reality is used in healthcare or education settings to provide immersive training experiences and simulations. Standards for how virtual objects interact with each other will help ensure these experiences:
- Deliver the required consistency needed for accurately conveying vital skills
- Are easily updated across platforms as new information becomes known
- Become more affordable and easily accessible through various platforms so that organizations of all sizes and financial means can experience the benefits of up-to-date training.
Virtual reality has fantastic potential to transform how we interact with digital content and each other. But without common standards in place, it could remain fragmented and isolated experiences.
Standards Will Help Lawyers Provide Guidance
It will ultimately be up to individual developers and companies to adopt the standards and use them in their products. To encourage adoption, standards organizations must offer clear guidelines and best practices for developers to follow. In-house counsel should encourage using metaverse standards in their organizations to promote interoperability and consistency.
Developers can then turn their energies to creating new and worthwhile experiences rather than reinventing the wheel in every metaverse space in a never-ending struggle to overcome compatibility issues.
Similarly, lawyers and policymakers will have more solid ground to stand on when considering whether to regulate the metaverse and how. Standards will provide a foundation for creating and applying legal frameworks to the metaverse.
With interoperable standards in place, we can explore different worlds more easily, encourage innovation, and ensure that the rule of law applies to virtual experiences just as it does in our physical world.
Olga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat, Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.