Lamina1, the Metaverse-as-a-Service startup co-founded by Neal Stephenson, just published a white paper adding much more detail to the platform that they are building — join their Discord to get it,
The core announcement, however, is this: Neal Stephenson himself is making a virtual world:
Neal Stephenson’s THEEE METAVERSE
Under active early-stage development, Neal Stephenson’s THEEE METAVERSE promises a richly-imagined interactive virtual world with an unforgettable origin story. Built on the Lamina1 chain, creators will come to experience Neal’s vision and stay to develop their own. Stay tuned for more details.
This might surprise people who assumed the Metaverse was simply a fictional conceit from his 90s novel Snow Crash, but most of his subsequent books and career have been building up to this point. As he told me in a long interview recently, when I asked him how his novels influenced Lamina1:
“After I wrote Snow Crash I got to know people in the tech industry who had read the book and who had been working on projects like Habitat… and they had figured out long ago that you couldn’t build these kinds of virtual communities without basically, other people’s code running on your hardware. So they’ve gotten really interested in the problem of how do you do that without letting them take over your computer and then began to look to cryptographic solutions as a way to create that kind of controlled execution environment.”
Some of his other novels have also explored and expanded on the original Metaverse concept:
“If you look at the Diamond Age, that is a book whose entire plot makes no sense unless you assume the existence of a worldwide network that can transfer money anonymously. So now that the girl in that book, Spence, and Miranda know each other through a virtual environment for years, but they have no way to establish each other’s real world identities, because of this anonymous system. The whole plot story basically revolves around that….
“In READ, that’s explicitly about a video game in which real world money can be used, to carry out financial transactions and about the kind of various complications that arise from that. Fall is kind of in a sense a sequel to READto re-engage some of the same characters and sort of takes that to the wildest possible extreme.”
As for this white paper, much of it delves deeply into how it will integrate with web3 technology (blockchain, crypto, etc.) For virtual world/metaverse developers, here’s some of pacific technology Lamina1 is creating:
Cloud and Hybrid Rendering Services
“Virtual world creators and operators may choose to use cloud rendering with pixel streaming to deliver photorealistic scenes versus depending on the processing power of the local device. Or, they may opt for a combination of local and cloud-based processing to achieve the best combination of high fidelity and interactivity. Lamina1 will identify and work with infrastructure partners to offer decentralize versions of these services to our ecosystem.”
Unity and Unreal SDKs
,[We’re creating] feature-rich software development kits (SDKs) for these engines to make it as easy as possible to get started and be successful in integrating our blockchain into games, immersive worlds, digital twins, simulations and other content. Lamina1 will also provide the same feature set to web developers, making it straightforward to also connect immersive web experiences.”
Simple Creation Tools for Non-Devs
“Out-of-the-box capability to launch and operate basic multiplayer worlds without the need for coding skills fosters casual and serendipitous interaction.”
Browser Based Option
“Lamina1 will explore this area by instrumenting browser and wallet tech that will push the UX of blockchains forward. This includes rendering 3D content for avatars, objects and scenes directly in the wallet (versus just static or video thumbnails), as well as creating fun utilities and widgets that enhance the user experience. 3D rendering in today’s browsers via WebGL and WebGPU –– while admittedly not as high-performance as native graphics code –– offers tremendous power, which has to date, has been underutilized.”
Much more next week, including highlights from my long chat with Neal!
Photo copyright Lamina1,