Metaverse can deliver huge economic benefits to India and requires the brilliance, ingenuity of developers and creative community of the country, a senior official of the social media giant said on Tuesday.
While speaking at the launch of industry chamber FICCI’s XR Open Source Fellowship Program, former deputy prime minister of UK and Meta’s global affairs president Nick Clegg said the enormous appetite, ingenuity for engineering and entrepreneurialism for new knowledge is immensely striking in India and it is the reason for India being one of the great pioneering nations in technological innovations. He said that Metaverse in one sense may sound like science fiction but it is the natural evolution of the internet.
“The metaverse won’t be built by one company alone. Through programmes like XR Open Source, we will support Indian developers working on these exciting technologies. With their talent, insight and effort, we hope to ensure the next generation of internet technologies are built in an open, collaborative and accessible way,” Clegg said. He said that India will in generations to come be a leading power in the construction of a wholly new computing platform Metaverse.
“It’s one of the many reasons why we as a company have not only made a huge commitment to make our apps and our services available to hundreds of millions of people in this country, but also to often introduce our own innovations in India before almost anywhere else in the world,” Clegg said. He said that with the development of Metaverse, people will be able to hold virtual meetings in a way that they are in the same room. “All of that requires the brilliance and ingenuity of the developers and the creative community here in India. So the economic benefits for India are enormous,” Clegg said.
Principal Scientific Adviser to the government of India Ajay Kumar Sood said that the VR headsets, which are initial devices to give experience of Metaverse, are priced in the range of Rs 30,000 to Rs 80,000 apiece. “I’m sure this is not that affordable. If it has to really become popular, I’m sure some smart people will come up and make that headset which will be more affordable. I’m looking forward to the day when the price will reduce to Rs 10,000 or something. I’m sure it can be done if it is made in large numbers and some new technologies come in,” Sood said.
He said that there is an opportunity in hardware development along with the software for the development of Metaverse. NeGD President and CEO Abhishek Singh said open source technology driven ecosystems can play a big role in building robust digital public goods which are interoperable and follow federated architecture. “Indian developers, especially from tier 2/3 cities, will play a significant role in shaping the future of emerging technology and the metaverse for India and the world. We are glad to support XROS initiative and hope that the programme will act as a catalyst to nurture the immersive technology developer ecosystem and the open source community in India. It will be a stepping stone for making this decade India’s TechAde,” Singh said.
The XR Open Source (XROS) programme launched at the event is the second programme in India through which Meta aims to boost the developer ecosystem around immersive technologies and will further the open ecosystem for building the metaverse. The XROS programme is part of Meta’s global XR Programs and Research Fund under which the company announced a USD 2 million fund for the XR startup programme with MEITY Startup Hub earlier this year.