With large tech companies such as Meta and Apple working on the next computing platform — an XR operating system with social features integrated, also referred to as metaverse — we need to critically look at the direction they are taking and form a future vision on how such an operating system should work from a user’s point of view. This, to spark this discussion while the technology is still being developed, because then it is still malleable. This project aims to make this topic tangible and understandable for average users, while also communicating the importance of these discussions.
I specifically choose to call it an operating system (OS), rather than a metaverse, because I believe we should treat our devices as an open computing platform, rather than a social media network with content creation tools in it.
- Social features should be opt-in, not “always on”
- Extended reality (XR)
- Augmented reality (AR)
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Mixed reality (MR)
- AR Cloud
- Spatial computing platform
- Operating system
Open standards and attempts to standardise interoperability give an idea of the current state of the art in AR / VR.
- In the following presentation, standards for interoperability of the metaverse, such as its assets are discussed: Metaverse Standards Forum Launch – Presentation
- The Metaverse Standards forum is not a standards organisation (SDO) itself, but facilitates cooperation between SDOs and metaverse companies.
- OpenXR by Khronos: “OpenXR provides cross-platform, high-performance access directly into diverse XR device runtimes across multiple platforms. OpenXR enables applications and engines, including WebXR, to run on any system that exposes the OpenXR APIs.”
State of the art
Apple is working on RealityOS, an operating system for XR devices they will release in the future. At this moment, there is no information publicly available on its scope or features. However, the recently released ARKit 6 shows Apple’s ongoing efforts in spatial computing.