Interoperability and the Metaverse: what it is and why it matters
Interoperability will be applied way beyond games, digital apparel, and a few other types of assets. It will become the foundation on top of which rich experiences across all fields will be created and shared.
Here at Memori, we think that interoperability will be applied way beyond games, digital apparel, and a few other types of assets. For us, it will become the foundation on top of which rich experiences across all fields will be created and shared.
We think that digital twins, knowledge, memories, conversations will be among the things users will one day transfer between virtual worlds.
TwinCreator, our platform to create complex digital twins and conversational experiences, is built with interoperability in mind, even beyond the metaverse.
Because, although the metaverse is certainly where interoperability will express its full potential, the same principles can be applied in other scenarios too, even while moving from the digital to the physical space.
Metaverse: potential and challenges
Metaverse has been a bit of an overused (often misused) word, lately. Some define it as a truly revolutionary shift in our society which is about to take us by storm, some see it as a fuzzy concept with no long-term potential.
The truth is: it's complicated.
To us, the metaverse can be described as the result of many technologies and ideas converging and aligning towards a common vision: creating virtual worlds where culture, work, education, entertainment, social activities, and pretty much every human activity can thrive in new, unimaginable ways.
A new layer for our society that can be seen as the synthesis of the physical world and its digital counterpart, effectively becoming a twilight zone between the two.
But as it often happens, a huge potential is counterbalanced by hard challenges: the metaverse is no exception. And since this revolution could change the world as we know it forever, it should be everyone’s priority in this space to make sure those challenges are being addressed properly.
It's not only about 'building' the Metaverse, it's about building it RIGHT.
Interoperability is the key to a bright future
Among the many challenges, making interoperability a defining property of the metaverse is certainly one of the most critical.
But what does interoperability mean?
Interoperability means creating a unifying system which allows its nodes to be independent AND connected at the same time, making it possible for information and all kinds of user data to be transferable and to travel with their owner from one virtual world to the other effortlessly.
Imagine buying a new pair of sneakers for one of your digital twins in Nike’s metaverse store, and immediately move to your favorite game and use them without any additional step.
This is just a simple example, we still cannot predict the infinite possibilities lying ahead.
But why is interoperability important?
For many reasons, actually.
It improves the user experience, reducing the gap with the physical reality (in the physical world, if you own something, you can take it with you everywhere), it empowers developers to build faster, it helps creating a fairer future for virtual experiences, where users really OWN their digital goods, the list goes on.
The current situation
The Metaverse is a network of virtual worlds, where people can play, socialize, and work. But these worlds are still disconnected today.
Interoperability is simply not here, yet.
Two are the main reasons, one technological, one economical.
The first one is easy to imagine. To make the metaverse truly interoperable, at scale, there are many engineering and design puzzles to solve.
The second might be less obvious, but it’s actually the biggest threat to interoperability. Virtual worlds, today closed and disconnected, need the right incentives to open their gates and allow interoperability to spread. A profound shift in mentality and business models needs to happen. It takes time.
Interoperability might still be an emerging trend but it is steadily becoming a reality.
The gaming industry is a clear example: everyday, new projects are being launched that make games more and more similar to the vision of the metaverse the community is building.
Interoperability and decentralization
Interoperability builds on top of decentralization, and, for this reason, many concepts which are being developed in web 3.0 and other communities apply to it as well.
A system that is decentralized and interoperable puts people and the quality of their experiences at the center.
Moreover, decentralization and interoperability create more ‘fluidity’ in the system, allowing new ideas to emerge more easily and with lower barriers to entry.
In the past decades, we saw how closed ecosystems often create monopolies which are almost impossible to beat, even with far superior ideas. Always to the detriment of the users.
We want a future where people are free to switch and try new experiences, without feeling locked in one specific box.
The system should not care about which node people prefer at any given time. It should not care about the communities that are built and who builds them.
The system should be a new “uncontaminated land”, a network that nobody owns and everybody owns, that simplifies the exchange and movement of goods but also knowledge, where human ingenuity can explore new ideas and really take-off without constraints, like it always did in the physical world.
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Published on 23 September 2022