The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a branch of the United Nations responsible for global communications and technology, has formed a specialized group of experts to develop international technical standards for the metaverse.
This focus group aims to establish a framework for technology and business practices that promote market competition, innovation, and cost-effectiveness in the metaverse industry, which is projected to reach a worth of approximately $800 billion by 2024.
ITU Secretary-General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, said the metaverse and its layers of technologies can help human development and progress, according to The Guardian.
“The work of this ITU focus group is the first step in ensuring that these technologies work well and that they work for all. The benefits of the metaverse should be shared broadly and equitably, and the risks should be well understood and addressed,” she stated.
As a matter of fact, the ITU focus group is tasked with creating a plan to establish technical standards for the metaverse in order to increase digital connectivity and support sustainable digital transformation.
This roadmap will work to make metaverse services and applications work seamlessly together, provide a high-quality user experience, keep data secure and protect personal information.
The Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Seizo Onoe, stated that the development of standards must be a collaborative effort between all stakeholders who will use them.
He added that the focus group will assist in identifying the technology use cases and technical requirements for the metaverse, and creating global standards to meet them. ITU, as a unique member of the United Nations, brings together 193 Member States and over 900 member organizations including companies, universities, and international and regional organizations to collaborate on issues such as technical standardization.
The ITU focus group, open to any expert who wishes to participate, will work to speed up the standardization process by researching areas that are rapidly evolving and strategically significant.
The metaverse focus group will operate for a year and will focus on “pre-standardization” work in order to establish new ITU standards. To ensure that standards for the metaverse are developed in a cohesive manner, the focus group will aim to establish common terms and definitions and foster collaboration between relevant standards bodies.
The group’s findings and recommendations will be reported to the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group.
The Chairman of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group from the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) of Saudi Arabia, Abdurahman M. Al Hassan, explained that the creation of this focus group is crucial for establishing standards that will contribute to a safe and interoperable metaverse, and promote growth and prosperity.
The focus group will hold its first meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8 and 9, 2023 and will be hosted by the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) following an ITU forum on the metaverse on March 7, that is jointly organized by ITU and NCA.