The Open Metaverse Interoperability group celebrated 1 year of building an open and interoperable metaverse! As part of that celebration we have gathered some of the highlights from the last year.
What is OMIgroup or Open Metaverse Interoperability?
The Open Metaverse Interoperability Group bridges virtual worlds across interfaces and technologies by designing and promoting protocols for identity, social graphs, inventory, and more. Our members include businesses and individuals working towards this common goal. Aside from technical work, OMI aims to create a community of artists, creators, developers, and other innovators to discuss and explore concepts surrounding the design and development of virtual worlds. In a recent workshop with OMI members, we ran an exercise where folks wrote on stickies what they identify as in the community.
We are engineers, game developers, open source maintainers, producers, artists, and more!
OMI has seen dozens of contributors in our git repos with hundreds of participants on Discord and thousands following on Twitter. The W3C membership has been at a steading increase and currently sits at 138 members. You can join the W3C group today at https://www.w3.org/community/metaverse-interop/ or come to our Discord to explore the working groups and threads, open hack together days and R&D projects our community is currently developing in tandem with their own original works.
Avatar Interoperability: OMI-Chan & VRM Avatar Exploration
The OMI-Chan group developed avatar designs to guide 3D modeled versions in the future that will serve as assets to test specifications for the GLTF working group as well as being used in general OMI content. Over the last year efforts have formed to create original virtual beings that can represent open metaverse initiatives and demo inside of worlds, along with avatar creation workshops that happen on the regular with M3 using VRM. Jin regularly leads live avatar creation sessions with Metaverse Makers while virtual beings R&D continues among many OMI creators including Nova and LiftedPixel.
Expanding how 3D art can interact: GLTF Extensions Group
OMI glTF extensions subgroup is a weekly working group that focuses on extensions that expand how 3D models are used across open metaverse worlds. Programmability, multimedia capacity and portability of creative assets are all explored along with these extension projects:
Audio Extension - The OMI Audio extension is on track to become an official KHR extension! Below is an example video of the audio emitter being used bundled in a glTF file.
Collider Extension - The Collider Extension allows for the addition of colliders to gLTF scenes. Colliders can be added to glTF nodes along with information about the "type" of collider it is representing.
Physics Body Extension - Physics Bodies allow for setting basic physics properties on Nodes in glTF scenes. In the below example the group was able to illustrates defining physics bodies and their associated collider events:
Portability and Programmability: OMI Scripting Group
The OMI Scripting Group was started to create a standard for a WebAssembly-based scene graph API. This group hopes to make coding portable behaviors as easy and interoperable as the HTML DOM API. This group is being led by Adam Frisby, Chief Product Officer at virtual world platform, Sinespace. Other contributors include members from V-Sekai, Matrix.org, and more.
This group is still in it's early planning stages and looking for other collaborators. If you're looking to add sandboxed scripting to your virtual worlds, items, and avatars we'd love to hear from you!
How we Share Here: Website & Media Storytelling
The Website Working Group launched this website to serve as a common repo for future initiatives and community endeavors. Shadow, Anthony & Robert worked together to design and build a style guide for the site. @antpb worked to bring it online and the site has served us well in aligning folks on when events are happening and where to participate. Jesse aka @MrMetaverse and Evo serve as blog editors for new content and social media development.
Want to Join Us? Start with Discord, Github or Social Media
You can find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube and Twitch with additional public and open media channels coming soon. The Media Group was established to work to build content strategy and editorial flows to the various channels that OMI operates within, including videos like the Demo Nights event from last fall streaming across our channels.
Demo nights were a success and are planned to continue in the coming months - get in touch if you'd like to partner for a future Open Metaverse Interoperability Demo Day or Night. We livestream together and welcome all open metaverse-focused partners sharing tools or OS resources for the rest of our industry and community.
See the Effects: Opening by Sharing OMI In the Media
We've been featured in media on almost every continent now, minus Antarctica!
New York Times - "Are We in the Metaverse Yet" https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/10/style/metaverse-virtual-worlds.html
Austin Tate's Blog - "Open Metaverse Interoperability Group" https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2021/12/12/open-metaverse-interoperability/
Medium @theo - "Metaverse Interoperability"
"Open Metaverse: Does it exist? Are they building it? Who and how" - https://blog.desdelinux.net/en/metaverso-abierto-existe-construyendo-quienes-como/
Arabian Business - "The metaverse will strengthen relationships, empower people, and help tackle global crises: experts" https://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/technology/how-the-metaverse-is-leading-the-technical-revolution
Want to join OMI? Get Involved
If you need help bringing your interoperability-focused work into the public spotlight, we'd like to hear from you. Join us at a Wednesday 9AM PST meeting in Discord to get the whole community update, or jump in to your favorite thread of interest, poke around in Github or meet up with your favorite creators in a hack together room to discuss what you're working on related to OMI community topics. We're down for collaboration around content and scene portability, glTF extensions, creative avatar and virtual production challenges that touch the open metaverse and WebXR, UX of Portals and how we move across worlds.
If you'd like to contribute to this work by supporting our use of your tools and other OS workflows, you can become a more active member of OMI by donating to our OpenCollective community page. This budget goes toward our cloud and tooling and is managed transparently for the benefit of this community's working groups and projects. If you'd like to get behind a specific effort or partner with us as an interoperator, individual contributors are welcome to join us.
If any of this brings up a great question, we'd love to hear it. Feel free to reach out on Twitter @Open_Metaverse but especially come in and join us on Discord or Github where we connect on the regular to discuss new projects, tools, opportunities and ideas for shared research & development.