France sets its strategy for the future

A French report claims that if it hopes to succeed, the metaverse must remain plural and open, similar to the approaches made with the Internet.

A report on the various possible approaches to the metaverse, commissioned by French officials, was released on Monday. In addition to attempting to define the metaverse, the report also offered a number of ways to integrate technology into society.

Metaverse vs The Metaverse with a Capital M

To begin with, the report attempts to create a workable definition for the term by providing some essential characteristics. The metaverse is an immersive, three-dimensional virtual world that users share, the report said. It emphasized the need for these worlds to exist in real time and to persist even when users are not present.

The French report highlighted some confusion regarding the use of capitalized metaverses, which are often used, somewhat interchangeably.

It describes the term “with capital M” as an abstract concept, describing the principles within which real metaverse spaces apply.

Questioning the Silicon Valley narrative

Most of the people the report consulted in their research highlighted awareness through the rebranding of Facebook as a meta platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the switch earlier this year in an effort to steer the company toward emerging technology.

However, the report states that its effective implementation in society will require breaking the perceived image of the metaverse.

“It is necessary to question with skepticism the constraining and restrictive vision held by others, whether by private actors such as Meta/Facebook or by foreign public powers such as China and South Korea, because these visions can shape our imagination and our daily lives.” impact can affect lives,” the report explained.

In addition to Meta, other players in Silicon Valley have also put forward strategies on how to advance the future of immersive technologies, though differ. The report noted that most of these industry players are tailoring their applications to a more professional audience.

One example is Meta’s partnership with Microsoft, with the latter’s commercial services being available through the former’s platform.

public authority of the metaverse

To prevent the domination of the metaverse by powerful organizations, the report suggested involving public institutions in its development. It also highlighted the risks inherent in many other digital ecosystems, particularly social networks, including harassment and propaganda.

The report recommended using the approach adopted towards the Internet as a model for public authorities to follow. These include the development of open protocols and the creation and adherence of certain internationally agreed standards.

In order to provide common and essential services for public authorities, the report recommends the development of the metaverse through “interoperable bricks”.

This effectively means that different entities must develop their own metaverse applications that can be easily integrated with each other. The report highlights how France’s National Institute for Geographic and Forest Information (IGN) is already producing available geographic datasets for immersive applications.

Shareholders are not convinced yet

Still, as reports warn of Metaverse dominance by major industry players, an open letter published yesterday deals with dissent. Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital effectively told Zuckerberg that shareholders have not shown up for their gamble.

Gerstner highlighted that the company missed several financial targets during 2022 as it was rebranded to Meta. As a result, in addition to reducing staff by 20%, he recommended that the company limit any further investments in the metaverse.


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