Yu Yuan on Building A Persistent Virtual World

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    Despite tech giants including meta, microsoftand NVIDIA Even with billions of dollars invested in developing the Metaverse, it’s still an illusion. Achieving this will require breakthroughs in various areas such as storage, modeling, and communication.

    To facilitate the advancement of these technologies, IEEE Standards Institute launched Persistent Computing in the Metaverse Initiativeas part of IEEE Industry Connectivity Programbringing together experts from both industry and academia to help plan the innovations needed to bring the Metaverse to life.

    While many different virtual reality experiences exist today, the Metaverse represents a vision of an interconnected, always-on virtual world that can host thousands, if not millions, of people simultaneously. The ultimate goal is to make the virtual world so real that it is almost indistinguishable from the real world.

    Today’s technology is far from being able to do that, he says. Yu GardenPresident of the IEEE Standards Association. Institute We spoke with Yuan about this initiative and the key challenges it needs to overcome. His answer has been edited for clarity.

    Institute: What is persistent computing?

    Yuyuan: I have worked in the field of virtual reality and multimedia for over 20 years. metaverse. after metaverse became a buzzword, “What’s the difference between the Metaverse and VR?” My answer is persistence, or the ability to leave a mark in the virtual world.

    persistent computing It refers to the combination of all the technologies required to support the development and operation of persistent virtual worlds. Metaverse, so to speak. There are many different types of VR experiences, many of which are his one-off events. Similar to how video games work, each time a user logs in, the entire virtual world is reset. But metaverse users can leave a mark. For example, you can tear down walls or build new homes to change your virtual world forever. These changes need to last long so that there is a meaningful virtual society and a meaningful economy in that virtual world.

    What are the key components required to enable persistent computing?

    Original: The first is storage. Most video games today allow the user to destroy buildings, but they are only restored the next time the user logs into the game. But persistent virtual worlds always need to save the current state of the virtual world. The user can create or destroy anything in that world and those changes will remain the next time they log in. These kinds of things should be stored properly. This means that we need to store a very large amount of data.

    It is also important to support persistence from a modeling perspective. Because, as you can imagine, people demand more and more high-quality experiences. To do this, in the future we need a larger scale and finer granularity or detail in order to make the virtual objects and environments more realistic.

    “The Metaverse is truly a long-term vision.

    We also need technology that supports on-the-fly upgrades of virtual worlds. For example, let’s say the building blocks of your virtual world are at the level of bricks, but then as technology advances, you might be able to push that level of detail down to grains of sand.

    Along with that upgrade, we need to keep the buildings that the user created previously. This poses some challenges: How can we support the modeling and manipulation of virtual worlds without interruption and provide a continuous experience for our users?

    You say you need more storage to keep all the information. But does that simply mean more powerful memory technology, or is it more complicated than that?

    Original: Larger storage capacity and lower power consumption are required. Some people are concerned that the metaverse will consume a lot of energy and make the whole thing unsustainable, so this could also be an important factor. is needed.

    Let’s say the ultimate goal of the Metaverse is to be able to create virtual universes that are indistinguishable from the real, physical universe. For example, how many physical atoms would you need to simulate and store a million virtual atoms? It’s one of the questions we need to answer. You hit a wall in terms of how many physical atoms you need to create the same or more virtual atoms. This requires not only innovations in storage, compute, and communication technology in general, but also some special innovations in modeling, and an engine specifically for the metaverse. It could be some data compression technique, but that’s just one direction we have to explore.

    I think communication is just as important. Most people think the metaverse means many users. This means that communication innovations will definitely be needed to support real-time, large-scale user experiences. If he is talking about supporting a million users in a virtual city, then there is no doubt that disruptive innovation will be required from a communication point of view. It is also an integral component of persistent computing.

    How will the problem you identified be resolved?

    Original: This is part of the mission of the Persistent Computing for Metaverse Initiative. It serves as a platform for information exchange and discussion regarding gaps in today’s existing technology.

    Perhaps most of the technology is already in place, but we just need to find ways to integrate them. This gap analysis will tell you what other innovations are needed. This could provide some direction for academia and industry.

    The initiative will host an event, publish a white paper summarizing its findings, and propose new standards.

    Much of the development in this area is happening in-house. Is there a desire for collaboration? Or is there a danger that everyone will be competing to create a walled garden?

    Original: I wouldn’t say it’s dangerous, but I don’t think it’s efficient. That’s why I believe standards will play a leading role in paving the way for the metaverse. Standards should be developed to identify gaps and set the roadmap for the industry. That way, the industry will lay the groundwork for discussion and how we can work together to make this happen. It’s also important to work together so companies don’t reinvent the wheel in different silos.

    I think the metaverse will have a big impact on every industry.

    Are there a lot of this kind of pie-in-the-sky at the moment? Are we still far from a permanent virtual world?

    Original: The Metaverse is truly a long-term vision. It may take another 15 to 20 years, or more, to realize that. The Metaverse should be indistinguishable from the current universe, and I believe many grand challenges need to be addressed for that.Some of these include how to create persistent virtual universes and how to make our perception sufficiently realistic. [extended reality] Ultimately, however, innovations in brain-machine interface or neural interface technology may be required to allow us to comprehensively take over the interface between our consciousness and the virtual world. However, in addition to this long-term development, there are also preliminary embodiments of the Metaverse that can be useful and create value for industry and consumers.


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