The concept "mobile metaverse"
became popular during the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown measures and work-from-home policies pushed more people online for both business and pleasure, increasing demand for ways to make online interaction more lifelike. The term covers a wide variety of location agnostic service experiences, from workplace tools to games and community platforms. It generally refers to shared and immersive digital service experiences (i.e. mobile metaverse services) that people can experience by means of using XR devices. By 2026, 25% of people are estimated to spend at least one hour a day using services that provide immersive XR media for work, shopping, education, social media and/or entertainment, according to the latest study by Gartner, Inc. (a U.S.-based technology research and consulting company).
Mobile metaverse service technologies are still in the early stages of being adopted. Currently there are already many digital environments (i.e. mobile metaverse services that offer location agnostic and location related service experiences), which typically run in silos and are not interconnected. From end users' view point, there are several basic requirements to be addressed:
Depending on the immersive XR media service the user wants to connect to, he/she can choose his/her digital representation and the related information when needed: avatar (one or more), e-money (e.g. financial services as payment, his/her means of payment), ID, purchased items…
A user is able to transition between immersive mobile metaverse services using the similar digital representation seamlessly and taking into account the constraints of the mobile metaverse services accessed. The transfer of information via the operator's network ensures the semantic compatibility - possibly through abstraction - between the origin and the destination. This also ensures, if necessary, the confidentiality of the origin and the destination.
In the following use case, Alice uses an immersive mobile metaverse service of a travel company, and a trip interests her. She would like to verify if she has enough money to buy the trip. She needs to link the immersive mobile metaverse service of her bank with the current immersive mobile metaverse service of the travel company so that her profile is automatically shared between these two services (she has previously given authorisation).
In this use case 'digital representations'
are expected to interwork with specific services. The use case does not propose to define a new 'standard'
for digital representations (avatars, electronic money and financial service, IDs, purchased items.) Rather personal information is stored and retrieved to improve service delivery and to assure privacy and security. If some formats, etc. are shared between different service providers, this would present an opportunity for consistency and continuity for the user of those two services, enabled by this use case.
Alice has a service subscription with the network operator M4Mobile, which is for communication services. When visiting immersive mobile metaverse service Alice uses digital representation which contains her avatars and other information like her electronic money and associated financial services, IDs, purchased items …
Alice has chosen a profile (a subset of her digital representation) for her session to access universes. The choice of information can be automated (without action on the part of the user) depending on the universe visited or already visited, the user configurations, privacy options, etc.
Alice appears in the universe with the digital information chosen in her wallet (with some certified via the network operator). She keeps that information as she travels from universe to universe.
This feature is currently not documented in the 3GPP specifications.
Concerning the user identity related aspects, the features described in the document TR 22.904
can be applied.
The 5G system shall support suitable APIs to securely provide information of a user to an immersive mobile metaverse service when the user accesses the service.
The 5G system shall support mechanisms to adapt the user assets and information stored by one immersive mobile metaverse service with the information needed, or requested, by another immersive XR media service.