The term “Metaverse” is commonly used to describe a 3D virtual universe that allows users to communicate and interact with one another.
Retailers, like software behemoths Microsoft and Meta, are already hard at work developing products that can faithfully recreate users’ everyday activities in virtual environments. Between January and May 2022, McKinsey estimates that corporations and VCs invested $120 billion in the Metaverse. This will help bring forth novel metaverse applications and technologies.
You don’t have to invent the wheel to create metaverse-specific software or services. Tools and platforms for metaverse development are increasing as interest in the Metaverse grows in various industries.
We look at ten such outsource metaverse platforms or projects here. All of our recommendations are free and open-source software, which will appeal to developers who prefer not to rely on large corporations’ proprietary metaverse development tools.
It’s too soon in the Metaverse’s history to say which projects will dominate the open-source metaverse development scene. Still, the tools and frameworks described here are strong candidates for becoming key resources for metaverse developers.
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Potential of Metaverse
Facebook officially changed its name to Meta in October 2021 after announcing a $10 investment in the Metaverse concept. A variety of Facebook developer tools exist that aim to give users a more interactive and immersive experience. Microsoft, Nvidia, and Google are just a few tech giants investing heavily in Metaverse. According to projections, Metaverse’s worth could hit $5 trillion by 2030.
It’s also expected that by 2026, a quarter of all internet users will have spent at least an hour doing something in the Metaverse.
Top 10 Open Source Metaverse Platforms or Projects to Explore in 2023
Webaverse is great for open-source enthusiasts and metaverse programmers alike. The platform’s official description aims to “shift the power from a few big tech companies to users and creators” regarding metaverse growth. To that end, Webaverse provides a metaverse engine that can be modified to fit the needs of any developer who wants to create a metaverse. It doesn’t matter where you host it, so long as you have Node.js version 17 or later.
Hypercube is a free and open-source framework for building self-hosted metaverse applications. It has powerful processing and storage capabilities for creating metaverses and running AI, AR, and VR programs. The Hypercube project has evolved into HyperVerse, the newest addition to merging the real and virtual worlds. Its large storage capacity and multi-concurrent network computing make it ideal for integrating metaverse apps with the blockchain ecosystem.
Also Read: Top 10 Metaverse Marketing Agency in USA
3. Somnium Space
Somnium Space, an open-source platform, seems to Gownder more like a consumer gaming platform than a developer platform. Users can buy virtual plots of land, then use those plots to construct residences and commercial establishments. Most clients are looking for secure, easily auditable tools.
Making development for metaverses “as easy and natural as making a website” is the stated goal of the ambitious XREngine project. The project achieves this by combining several open-source programs to form a metaverse development framework with features such as 3D world-building, real-time chat, user management, and more. Midway through 2022, XREngine has emerged as the most pivotal open-source development framework.
5. Amazon Sumerian
Amazon Sumerian is a development platform for making and running VR, AR, and 3D apps in any web browser. It uses the Babylon.js framework to generate and incorporate 3D scenes into new or preexisting websites. With the open-source Sumerian hosts on Github, you can connect Babylon.js and Three.js applications. Amazon Lex for artificial intelligence and natural language, AWS Lambda for code execution, AWS IoT for integrating with Amazon’s IoT platform, Polly for text-to-speech, and more are just some of the services that Amazon Sumerian works with.
The goal of the open-source web framework JanusWeb is to facilitate the creation of collaborative VR experiences for users. It can bring a 2D website into the realm of 3D.
Also Read: Is Google Building a Metaverse?
Blender, the free and open-source 3D modeling program, was created before the term “metaverse” was coined. However, it is still the open-source ecosystem’s preferred tool for producing and modifying 3D visuals, making it an important platform for designers of 3D metaverse software to be familiar with.
8. WebXR Device API
Many potential applications for metaverse development depend on web apps having direct access to hardware devices. The WebXR Device API aims to make this easier by providing a standard API for web app developers to use when interacting with VR/AR hardware.
Also Read: Is Apple Building a Metaverse?
Verizon’s BlueJeans is a video platform encouraging remote and mobile collaboration for large and small businesses. The company partnered with MootUp in 2021 to bring “virtual events in the era of the metaverse with 3D, VR, and AR immersive environments, avatars, and AI chatbots.”
10. Open Metaverse Interoperability Group
The Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, or OMI, is a collaborative effort whose mission is to develop standards for the Metaverse, ensuring that metaverse development is open and that metaverse apps, services, and platforms can easily integrate.
Advantages of Metaverse Development Tools
- More productivity thanks to the ability to streamline and automate many processes involved in creating and maintaining a metaverse with the help of development tools.
- Team members can work together more efficiently and share ideas and resources thanks to the improved communication and coordination made possible by these tools.
- Improved user satisfaction and loyalty can result from better metaverse user experiences developed using appropriate metaverse development tools.
- The ability to make changes and updates to the Metaverse quickly and easily is a major benefit of using Metaverse development tools, which can also give teams more freedom and flexibility.
- Some metaverse development tools include analytics and reporting functions, which can give teams valuable data and insights about how users interact with the Metaverse. As a result, groups can better the Metaverse and make educated decisions about its future growth and management.
How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Metaverse Platform?
A metaverse platform’s cost will be heavily influenced by the technologies employed and the features included in its design. Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25,000 to $400,000 or more.
Forecasting the Future: What Can We Hope for?
Other popular metaverse platforms include Decentraland, Altoura, Bramble, and MeetinVR.
Meanwhile, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is investing a lot of money into Web 3.0, the next-generation IT infrastructure that will make VR and AR possible for widespread use. Forrester’s Gownder predicts that, as with any new technology, the field will see a lot of experimentation before it reaches maturity. Some of the startups developing metaverse platforms will be acquired, he said.
Indeed, Gownder is still wary of the potential of metaverse platforms, saying that there has been a lot of excessive exuberance in the consumer market: arcades and movies featuring VR in the early 1990s generated a period of excitement, “Then it faded and flopped for a good 15 to 20 years.”
But he thinks the enterprise space will be fascinating to observe “because we have new problems we have to solve,” such as a highly dispersed workforce and collaborative offerings that are currently incomplete. Video conferencing, for instance, has many benefits, but some mental costs are involved when you’re on camera and trying to make eye contact with others, as Gownder pointed out. “You can’t do everything you can in the office here,” one user said.