Metaverse1 – One of ITEA’s Ground-Breaking Innovations Still

ITEA Magazine is celebrating 25 years of ITEA ground-breaking innovations they’re still grateful for today, by publishing the great successes that have been achieved over these past decades. In the ITEA4 July-2023 edition, the magazine highlights a few gems from ITEA2, which ran from 2006-2014, among which is the Metaverse1 project (2008-2011) – the missing link between the real and the virtual.

15 years ago, virtual worlds were already available in serious computer games and simulation models. However, they were mostly standalone and independent of each other with little or no connection to the real world. The ITEA project Metaverse1, that DigitalRosh’s Founder & CEO Prof. Yesha Sivan was among its leaders, set out to overcome this isolation by defining a standard to enable connectivity and interoperability between virtual worlds and the real world. The objective was to define interoperability in such a way that it would be possible to exchange information between worlds.

An important development of Metaverse1 was a standard interface between the real physical world and the virtual simulation/serious gaming world. This made it possible to attach real-world sensors, such as body parameter or environmental sensors, to provide input to simulations or, alternatively, obtain feedback from such models for the real world, such as to control lighting, temperature and ventilation or for personal wellbeing.

A key outcome was an international standard within the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). The first version of the ISO/IEC 23005-1:2010 (MPEG-V, media context and control) standard was published in January 2011. MPEG-V defines boundary conditions, but the real added value is in the applications – transforming the signal into something useful.

Nowadays, the metaverse is a hot topic and some of the world’s biggest companies are investing billions into building technologies and experiences, promising us an entirely new way of interacting and a new wave of innovation. According to Harvard Business Review in May 2023, the metaverse, while still in its early stages, will help us connect with people from all over the world in a more meaningful way and can help us be more productive and fulfilled in our personal lives. Metaverse1 contributed to this by creating the missing link between the real and the virtual 15 years ago.

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