What is Infinite Metaverse Alliance (IMA) all about? IMA brings people together, from developers to end users, to get things done!

We do this by providing resources and opportunities for everyone in the virtual world community to help advance technologies we all love. Congratulations to the development teams for their recent activities and releases! We see some ways we can all work together. Let's expand the conversation!

Currently, we have 49 Public Working Groups. Of those, sixteen are active, fourteen are forming, and eighteen are planned that may form when other working group projects are completed. To reduce complexity for each group, most have a narrow focus but have intersections with other working groups. Using our Project Management site helps us get things done while archiving the work by design.

Overall, there are intersections, shown in the image below, within virtual world activities via Science, Technology, and Innovation that are all centered around community. So we formed three branches that reflect the very same focus. The largest of these branches will be the Working Group (WG) Branch supported by the R&D Branches. Now that many of the resources working groups need are in place, we are putting out a general call for participation!

 

 

Background

In November 2016, Infinite Metaverse Alliance (IMA) formed in response to a call for a community-focused foundation for virtual world technologies. Two small companies, A Dimension Beyond and Laxton Consulting teamed to get it started then reached out to as many researchers, developers, and the user community as were available to get their inputs and ideas. The scope of the organization expanded as a result!

IMA is a Research and Development Philanthropic Foundation formed in response to open source community needs for maximizing societal benefits. Our core mission is a focus on inclusive "design thinking" to advance virtual worlds, virtual reality, and synthetic environments combined with "systems thinking" strategies. In IMA you have a champion to make the most of virtual worlds to meet your needs and to push the technology to meet the future as it unfolds.

To accomplish the mission, IMA identified significant areas for improved progress: streamline source code development, implement coding standards with a refined architecture framework, help move volunteer open source code projects forward, and facilitate inclusivity so that we all benefit in the use of these technologies. Anyone can be a part of something greater at IMA - we are only limited by our IMAginations.

With inputs from researchers actively working with virtual worlds, we identified the need for one unifying organization to function as a research organization (typically a community non-profit), a development organization (typically for-profit), and a standards organization (typically a business and academic consortium). In essence, IMA is a new kind of community organization with a hybrid structure that is both aspirational and innovative.

We want to maximize excellence using design thinking - taking what is good and making it great! Through our collective efforts, we will be redefining world-class using collaborative virtual worlds. But the impact extends far beyond virtual worlds - we can change the world as we know it through our shared community vision reflected in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KdjcMjwlNg

For working groups, all of our topics fit into 14 categories spanning research and development to end-user community needs. The Working Group branch of IMA is supported by the R&D branches but our focus is working together based on what the community wants and needs. We hope to be able to support existing server and viewer development teams as well.

Responding to the call by Kokua developers for someone to take over their project, we are doing some testing and evaluation to see if this is viable for IMA. If anyone would like to be involved in that, please send email to lisa at infinitemetaverse.com

No matter what part of the virtual realm you hail from, your inputs, work, and participation are valuable and meaningful to IMA. As a community-focused organization, we not only hope to give everyone a voice but to provide the resources and opportunities you need to get things done - together!

 

General Call for Participation

Here is a list of twenty-five working groups recruiting new members:

WG15: Virtual World Design for Accessibility
Research best practices in virtual world design for accessibility. Avacon to host Accessibility Center.
WG38: Virtual World User Interface Design
Web-based and client viewer user interface design research focus group.
WG25: Intellectual Property Concerns
Research intellectual property concerns associated with virtual content.
WG26: Virtual Currency Issues
Research and discuss FinCEN and IRS rules for virtual currencies.
WG28: Web-based Virtual World Testing
Collect data on web-based viewer options and conduct comparison testing to support research.
WG31: Test Management
Objective: support development of open source software for user-built virtual worlds.
WG41: Community Website and Worlds
Build community website for http://infinitemetaverse.org and build community welcome center region.
WG46: Best Practices in 3D Mesh Modeling
Share best practices in 3D mesh modeling for virtual world technologies in IMA's knowledge base.
WG47: Open Simulator User Generated Content Tutorials
Create or share Open Simulator User Generated Content Tutorials in IMA's knowledge base.
WG48: Video Capture Tools
List and compare video capture tools for virtual world activities in IMA's knowledge base.
WG49: Free and Open Source Software: 3D Modeling Resources
List free and open source software used for 3D Modeling in virtual worlds in IMA's knowledge base.
WG33: Open Simulator Client Viewer Research
Dedicated Open Simulator client viewer research and development.
WG7: TTS/STT Accessibility
Improve server software accessibility to support research.
WG21: Opportunity Research
Research topics of interest and grant opportunities.
WG22: 504/508 Compliance
Document 504 and 508 compliance issues to support research projects using virtual worlds.
WG6: Virtual World Hardware/Software Matrix
Develop hardware/software compatibility matrix tool to support research in virtual worlds.
WG17: Accessibility Devices
Research devices available to improve accessibility.
WG23: Marketing and Outreach
Research virtual world software opportunities to support greater adoption.
WG3: Inter-grid Interoperability (IGI)
Develop inter-grid interoperability (IGI) specification for virtual world platforms.
WG1: Virtual Currency Standards
Research applicable security and virtual economy standards for virtual world and virtual reality technologies.
WG2: Accessibility Standards
Research applicable accessibility standards for virtual world and virtual reality technologies.
WG42: Standards Intelligence
Monitor and communicate applicable software standards changes to working groups.
WG11: HIPAA/FERPA Compliance
Research encryption methods for virtual worlds for HIPAA and FERPA compliance.
WG13: 504/508 Software Compliance
Research software development requirements associated with 504 and 508 standards compliance.
WG14: W3C Usability Guidelines
Research applicable W3C guidelines for usability and accessibility testing.


To join or start a new working group, send an email to steve at infinitemetaverse.com but you don't have to be in a working group to participate. Becoming a part of Team IMA is very easy and it's free! Please visit this page to get started:

http://infinitemetaverse.com/join-us/become-a-member

We hope to see you soon!