Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the Metaverse

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, spoke about his vision of the Metaverse in a Keynote speech at Tech Show London last week. He was asked by TechInformed whether he believed it was possible to interlink metaverses together in a similar way that the computer scientist did with the internet. His response points to an interoperable decentralised Metaverse.

“If we do build 3D worlds let’s build them so that I can put a 3D world on my website and you can put one on your website and using VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) we can have a portal so that people can wander around my world and then go through on the open web to join these 3D worlds together without having to go through anyone central place.”

Tim Berners-Lee

In his speech, Tim Berners-Lee talked of the lost innovation from the beginning of the web as Social Media giants took over. The inspiration of the early web days is in many ways similar to the Metaverse platform developers of today. Tim Berners-Lee first envisioned the world wide web in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal” in 1989. By 1991 he was looking for collaborators for his project, and the www was born. He later went on to found the W3c, which oversees standards of the web. And it is the W3c that may again play a role in the development of the Metaverse.

The Open Metaverse Interoperability Group (OMI), launched by the W3c, aims to :

“Bridge virtual worlds by designing and promoting protocols for identity, social graphs, inventory, and more”.

The OMIGroup.

The OMIGroup believes no single company can form the Metaverse and discusses the way isolated virtual worlds can be interconnected into a network. The true Metaverse where users can navigate through a network of Metaverse platforms that support interoperability may not yet be here.

Tim Berners-Lee currently, is Director of the World Wide Web Foundation that seeks to utilise the web for the benefit of humanity. He co-leads the Decentralized Information Group, working on Solid. The Solid Project developed through start-up Inrupt and MIT, aims to give people a say in the way their data is used. Solid is an open-source platform that aims to allow people to control their data and stop the misuse of data on social media. Crucially personal data usage is the key to interoperability on the Metaverse and preventing misuse of data will be vital to web 3.0 applications.

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