Mozilla to Launch Hubs Cloud as a First Step Toward an Open Web-based Metaverse – Road to VR

Mozilla Hubs is the companys impressive WebXR social app which allows users from almost any device (VR or not) to jump into a virtual room with the click of a link. But the companys ambitions go much further; soon Mozilla will take a major step toward achieving its master plan by launching Hubs Cloud.

Hubs is perhaps the most ambitious WebXR project to datean entirely web-based, device agnostic virtual space that can be joined and shared with a plain old URL through a Web browser. By that virtue,Hubs is part of theWeb itselfthe vast network of sites accessible and navigable between one another. Most other social VR apps are built atop the Internetthe infrastructure underlying the Webbut do not interconnect with the Web itself.

Hubs developer Greg Fodor reasons in a recently published post that a global metaverse is most likely to succeed if its a genuine part of the Web; its that principle which has been guiding the strategy and development ofHubs.

In the post, Fodorexplains Mozillas master plan behindHubs, which includes the eventual launch ofHubs Cloud (coming soon), an open-source version of Hubs which can be hosted on any Web server, by anyone.

Much like how a website is hosted on a server,Hubs Cloudwould thus be decentralized and could be tailored to the needs of each entityusing it, while continuing to be part of the Web. The master plan for Hubs is as follows, according to Fodor:

This is a wholly different approach to other metaverse projects, most of which arent part of the Web (even though they use the Internet to connect users). Mozilla believes that a global metaverse wont be a closed platform designed with top-down use-cases in mind; rather it will be a network of decentralized servers hosting virtual spaces which are customized to the needs of each host. By that virtue, Fodor says that Mozilla has specifically avoided building certain features into Hubs, expecting that such features are best built from the ground-up based on user needs and by leveraging existing Web-based tools and capabilities.

We have deliberatelynotincluded [in Hubs]:

Though wefully expectthese additional things to emerge, they seem unnecessary to deliver remote social presence and shared spatial awareness in mixed media environments.

Fodor does make a compelling argument for why a metaverse built as part of the Web is more likely to succeed than one thats not, and Mozillas approach to the metaverse is definitely forward-thinking.

My take? Although I agree with most of Fodors points, the Web emerged in an era before anyone truly understood its world-altering implications; had governments and corporations of the era known just how important the Web would become, they would have fought tooth-and-nail to own it and have centralized control. Today the global influence of the Webis known, and its more obvious now that owning the metaverse of the future willbestow the owner with incredible, global influence.

Similar to the social networks of today, the first metaverse that reaches scalewhether open or closedseems likely to win and continue to hold its ground thanks to the network effect.While I think an open and decentralized metaverse isvastly preferable to one owned by one or a handful of corporations or governments, companies like Facebook (which is already building its own metaverse project,Facebook Horizon) are able to focus far more resources on capturing the metaverse than any ground-up decentralized approach can muster.

That said, Ihope Im wrong. The decentralized nature of the Web is a critically important feature that should extend to the metaverse to ensure that no single entity gets to make the rules for the entire metaverse.

Continued here:
Mozilla to Launch Hubs Cloud as a First Step Toward an Open Web-based Metaverse - Road to VR

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