A national attempt to bypass monopolization by private companies

The news

South Korea is bringing together private companies and universities to develop an open national AR and VR platform.

This “metaverse alliance” includes eight large industry groups, major wireless carrier SK Telecom, Naver (a multi-billion won web company), and Hyundai (the car giant, and recent owner of a controlling stake in American robotics company Boston Dynamics). The alliance will also have the support of Korea’s Ministry of Science.

According to The Korea Times, this group will “will work together to share metaverse trends and technology, and form a consultative group for ethical and cultural issues related to the metaverse market. The alliance will also undertake joint metaverse development projects.”

Why it matters

The metaverse (or AR VR cloud, or any other term you choose to use) presents a number of thorny issues.

When development of the metaverse is left in the hands of private corporations, the risk is that one company will establish a monopoly on the platform. This, in turn, would give that company the ability to mine and monetize user data. (Like Google does with its search technology). It would also give that company the ability to restrict development of technologies that rely on the platform. (As Apple has famously done with its App Store).

We recently covered one solution to this problem, the Open AR Cloud. This project aims to bring together private companies and individuals to produce an alternative AR cloud that is open to all potential users, and does not monetize user data.

South Korea’s metaverse alliance appears to be another solution to the problem of AR/VR monopoly—this time at a national level with the backing of the government.