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Metaverse News

Mozilla acquires Active Replica to further its vision for the metaverse

In addition to an automated status updater for Slack, Mozilla bought additional products this week. Active Replica, a Vancouver-based firm developing a “web-based metaverse,” was acquired by the corporation, as stated on Wednesday.

Active Replica will help Mozilla’s continued work with Hubs, the VR chatroom service and open source project developed by Mozilla. Specifically, he observes the Active Replica team developing tailored subscription tiers, enhancing the onboarding experience, and introducing new interaction features in Hubs.

“Together, we see this as a key opportunity to bring even more innovation and creativity to Hubs than we could alone,” Udom said in a blog post. “We will benefit from their unique experience and ability to create amazing experiences that help organizations use virtual spaces to drive impact. They will benefit from our scale, our talent, and our ability to help bring their innovations to the market faster.”

Active Replica was established by Jacob Ervin and Valerian Denis in 2020. Ervin is a software engineer that has worked for AR/VR startups Metaio, Liminal AR, and Occipital. Denis has a background in project management; he has worked for VR companies such as BackLight, which specializes in providing businesses with location-based and immersive VR experiences.

With Active Replica, Ervin and Denis aimed to create a virtual events and meetings platform based on Mozilla’s Hubs initiative. Active Replica marketed virtual event packages consisting of venue design, event planning, live entertainment, and technical support.

Prior to the acquisition, Active Replica had not declared external funds publicly. In the past several weeks, Ervin and Denis have taken on new roles at Mozilla as senior engineering manager and product lead, respectively.

Mozilla acquires Active Replica to further its vision for the metaverse

“Mozilla has long advocated for a healthier internet and has been an inspiration to us in its dedication and contributions to the open web. By joining forces with the Mozilla Hubs team, we’re able to further expand on our mission and inspire a new generation of creators, connectors, and builders,” Ervin and Denis said in a statement. “Active Replica will continue to work with our existing customers, partners and community.”

Mozilla introduced Hubs in 2018, promoting it as a “experiment” in “immersive social experiences” at the time. Hubs provides the development tools and infrastructure required for users to access a portal via any browser and interact in a virtual reality environment. Hubs adheres to web standards and supports all common VR headsets and goggles (e.g., Oculus Rift, HTC Vive) while staying accessible to users without specialist VR hardware on desktops and mobile devices.

Recently, Hubs expanded with the introduction of a $20-per-month service that replaced the free service with account management capabilities, privacy and security features. According to Mozilla, more levels and a free edition will be reintroduced in the future, along with kits to create bespoke spaces, avatar and identity options, and interfaces with existing collaboration tools.

The consequences of Mozilla’s ventures into the metaverse have been mixed. As evidenced by the acquisition of Active Replica, Hubs is alive and well. However, in February 2022, Meta discontinued Firefox Reality, its attempt to create a fully-featured browser for AR and VR headsets. Mozilla stated that while it does assist in the development of new technologies such as WebVR and WebAR, it does not always continue to host and incubate these technologies over the long term.

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About MahKa

Mozilla acquires Active Replica to further its vision for the metaverseMahKa loves exploring the decentralized world. She writes about NFTs, the metaverse, Web3 and similar topics.

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