A Metaverse Community Plans An Escape From Meta’s Walled Gardens

Two years after Mark Zuckerberg started When it gets into orbit, the metaverse crashes back down to Earth. When the hype was sparked by the Facebook rebrand fades in the midst breathtaking losses, ridiculous selfie, And with the boom in generative AI, reality is starting to take hold—and that’s when things get interesting.

Metaverse followers now fight for competing visions.

On one side are the centralized platforms owned by companies like eg Meta and Roblox. Controlled by almighty technology giants, these virtual worlds exist in silos.

On the other side are advocates of openness, networking and decentralization metaverse. In these utopian realms, users are free to traverse spaces and make their experiences their own.

Improbable has firmly planted its flag in the latter camp. The company spent a decade developing immersive virtual worlds Military simulations To k pop parties, before moving on to building a metaverse infrastructure. While the focus of the unicorn (and Assets) wavered, Improbable’s belief in open spaces remained.

“We’ve seen walled gardens and gated networks exploit the people who spend time on the services for the benefit of a select few,” said Herman Narula, the company’s co-founder and CEO last year.

Narula co-founded Improbable in 2021. Photo credit: Improbable

More recently, Narula has suggested an alternative.

“We want to help ensure the Metaverse delivers what it promises to be a meaningful network that unleashes creativity, social interaction, and economic opportunity, free of gatekeepers,” he said last month.

To bring this vision (virtually) to life, Improbable has started a new project: squarea network of metaverses.

The layers of the country

Today Virtual worlds are delimited. For example, in Roblox you can use building games, buy weapons and spend Robux currency. But none of that can be adopted in Fortnite.

MSquared hopes to break down these barriers. Using a range of technologies, services and standards – as well 150 million dollars (138 million euros) in funding – the project promises to create a connection between interconnected worlds.

If all goes according to plan, virtual experiences will span multiple platforms and an interoperable economy.

“I get yelled at for calling it that, but you could also describe it as a ‘meta-metaverse,'” Rob Whitehead, Improbable’s co-founder and chief product officer, told TNW.

Whitehead likens the concept to international travel. In this analogy, virtual worlds resemble individual nations with open borders. If you want to visit a new country, just bring your wallet and belongings with you.

Upon arrival, your digital assets can be accessed via blockchain-enabled decentralized identities and cryptocurrencies, or via traditional Web2 logins and digital goods such as Fortnite outfits and tools.

“We’re the layer that ties these different worlds together,” Whitehead said. “And it’s independent of whether this metaverse uses crypto or non-crypto stuff.”

Whitehead met Improbable co-founder Herman Narula while he was studying computer science at Cambridge UniversityWhitehead met Improbable co-founder Herman Narula while he was studying computer science at Cambridge University. Credit: Unlikely

Improbable divides the MSquared participants into four groups: Metaverse owners who operate the virtual spaces, creators who produce the experiences, service providers who operate the network, and users who consume the content.

Of course, they will not do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Metaverse owners can, but are required to, charge for access to their rooms fee-based service providers for the provision of the infrastructure. Meanwhile, YouTubers can monetize their content.

For example, users could buy tickets to concerts, wear digital clothes, furniture for virtual houses, or upgrades to make their avatars fly. It may sound ridiculous to those of us struggling to make ends meet, but people do spend billions in simple virtual worlds. As experiences improve, the digital economy could grow rapidly.

Improbable aims to add over 10,000 people to the MSquared network over time. But before they come someone has to build it.

Weaving a Metaverse fabric

Users have not yet been invited Virtual MSquared party. Improbable laid the foundations of the ecosystem, but it wants to to expand the network before release.

The current heart of MSquared is Improbable’s Morpheus platform, which includes tools and services to build, operate, and monetize Metaverse experiences.

The system is already powered on mass experiences. In demos shared online, Morpheus has provided virtual rooms for 10,000 real users, all interacting in the same place at the same time.

According to Improbable, Morpheus can now enable immersive, collaborative experiences with high concurrency for over 20,000 people on all devices.

Footage of a virtual world under development showed 20,000 users interacting at full capacity. Credit: Unlikely

Another key component is the Metaverse Markup Language (MML) that makes this possible developer to create virtual objects that can live in any world on the network. Also on offer are the M² Cross Construct, a sandbox environment, and the M² Cross Metaversal Services, which enable interoperability.

A circle of partners added more skills. NVIDIA provides the backbone for high-fidelity graphics, Google Cloud provides the cloud infrastructure, Dolby delivers video content, and Ubitus supports worldwide streaming.

Improbable is now expanding access to the builder community. If you are interested in participating, you can read them lite paper or join this Discord server.

The virtual future

Unlikely hopes that the first Metaverse launches will arrive soon. The next step will be to create and incentivize a cross-metaverse economy through shared trade structures and free movement.

Ultimately, Narula assumes the system is well advanced bigger than any single company or single metaverse.

“MSquared initiates a completely different and novel business model where ownership and interoperability work together, creating an environment where creativity thrives alongside the growth of commercially viable businesses in a common space,” he said.

It is a great ambition that has yet to be translated into reality. But MSquared at least offers hope for a way out of platform monopolies and walled gardens. Our tech overlords will closely monitor progress. Hello Mark!

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