The metaverse is a term that refers to a collective virtual shared space that is created by the convergence of physical and virtual reality, where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and with each other in real-time. It is essentially a fully immersive and interactive virtual world that can be accessed through various devices such as virtual reality headsets, computers, and mobile phones. The concept of the metaverse has been popularized in science fiction and gaming, but it is now being developed as a potential future form of the internet that could have numerous applications in entertainment, education, commerce, and social interaction.

The metaverse is also known by the names ‘web3’ or ‘spatial web’ and in its completed form is formally identified as ARC3 which stands for “augmented realtime content 3D.” The invention is credited to Robert Scott McKinney and Dan Dale Struckman and is registered under U.S. patent number 10,437,563 [Application Number 15/861,253] for arc.sup.3 physics engine powered visual browser website design system and operating system.

This patent was filed in 2018 and granted in 2019, which precedes most of the other patents related to it.

ARC3 physics engine powered visual browser website design system and operating system

The ARC3 patent is short but straight to the point and quite impossible to ignore. The patent encompasses each element needed for gathering together the whole package and for spearheading what many companies claim to have invented themselves, while in reality only addressing some elements of it.

As can be read through the lines in the article on the metaverse by PatentPC , the metaverse could very well initiate a modern times “Big Tech gold rush”, with each company involved in its perceived development wanting to control how it will grow, how it will connect and how it will become the next web.

Analyzing this patent might answer the big question: is it possible, that two inventors from out of literally nowhere, or maybe this time for real out of the legendary “garage”, have indeed the patent that all big tech companies are dreaming of?

Description of ARC3

The claim in the ARC3 patent reads as follows;

We claim:

A physics engine modified content management system, and domain host software better described as augmented realtime content 3d, or physics engine powered visual browser website design system, and operating system comprising of: a game engine that is C++ coded using blueprint methods to act as an interactive content environment with website capabilities better known as a metaverse; said software is further comprising of a full set of highly customizable tools, and features including the ability to bring in 3d asset’s into an existing or prefabricated 3d environment, using a colour picker to change the textures, and values into a range of variables and colours; the features include but aren’t limited to the ability to save the finished 3d metaverse/website on a personal or business computer or other platforms to be published on the internet at a later time, by using a dedicated server to host the personal or business metaverse as a 0.3d domain for others users to interact with; said network system is a content management system, and domain hosting software connected to a dedicated server system; said features and tools are like nothing before that has been accomplished using a gaming engine to function as a highly sophisticated content management system, and domain hosting software system creating a 0.3d domain network, or 3d enhanced internet platform.

We learn in the first line of the claim, that ARC3 stands for “augmented realtime content 3D”. We also find that both patent holders claim that this is the first time someone came up with the idea to use a gaming engine for other purposes than games, literally using it to create a “visual browser website design system and an operating system.” So yes, it really seems that reshaping the web in VR and AR mode is the main goal and claim of this patent.

Moving forward in this patent, we read “extra dimensional working space”, and then “ARC3 “Augmented Realtime Content 3D” (Physics engine powered visual browser, website design system, and operating system.) CMS/DH software framework coded in C++ based from a modified development integration suite, (rendering, physics, scripting, sound, animation, AI, streaming, networking, memory management, localization support, threading, scene graph) engine technologies.” In the one description sentence quoted here, we literally find most of the functions needed for composing the next generation, modern internet/web.

It even has social media related functions: “A simple UI that makes it easy to upload photos, chat system with friends, groups, store, buying models/assets, templates, and themes.”

It also describes a new form of decentralized websites for business and marketing purposes: visual interface UI/web browsing+engine=3d domain registrar & host=new 3d internet with marketing abilities, & social features. (.com, >0.3d) website development tools/SDK/CDK/domain registration/website development/publishing of 0.3d website/online development/Server Connections like MMO technologies/Multiple users.

Within ARC3, the use of the word “metaverse” differs drastically from all other projects. When it is used, it usually describes the whole space, while within ARC3, each person or company will own their own metaverse, making one single metaverse only a fraction of the whole web. Using ARC3 will mean navigating through all those metaverses, searching on the ARC3 platform, communicating through it, while also being able to connect any 3rd party app or project to the ARC3 web.

Who are these so far unknown patent holders?

While it seems astounding that the key to tech’s “open sesame” is being held by developers with no previous experience in the tech industry, it makes more sense when digging into the past of Robert Scott McKinney. Inventors need fantasy, the ability to have a vision or a dream of the future. Mr. McKinney is the son of a Vandenburg NASA engineer. As such, he has had contact with state-of-the-art technology since he was a child. On the creativity side, as an adult, he became a metal guitarist and song writer under the pseudonym Robert Cromwell, he even had the opportunity to collaborate with Dave Mustaine shortly before Megadeth got started…so Robert “Cromwell” McKinney is not so unknown after all. It is when he wanted to stream live concerts that he actually had the idea of creating a stage in virtual reality, in which advertisement would be implemented without disturbing the audience. However; back in the end of the 20th century, the storage capacity was way too small and the internet way too slow, which is why he postponed the development of ARC3 until recently.

Goal of the ARC3 project

Many years later, joined by a friend and now co-holder of the patent, they developed the initial project and made it into what it has become now: a whole virtual universe instead of only a live concert streaming platform. Creating something comparable to a grass roots movement, both together refused to sell the project out to big corporations, as they wished to keep it away from corporate influence, in order to avoid data collection and agenda-based censorship. To them, ARC3 is set to become the “internet of the people”, serving the purpose of information, entertainment, education, communication and business exchange, all in a visually appealing environment, that fosters creativity and makes working and browsing easier and safer.

Current state of development

While a beta version of ARC3 was developed, it never went to the market for public testing purposes. Both the patent holders are still working on it and we can hope for a positive outcome that will allow us to compare their final product to the ones of the bigger companies. Having observed how Facebook rebranded to Meta only to later announce that after a loss of billions the Metaverse project of Mark Zuckerberg would be frozen for now, Robert McKinney prefers to wait until the ARC3 development really matches his vision before making it public. “A vision needs to come to life, it should not be thrown on the market just because someone wants it here and now. It is like a song: when something does not sound quite right, keep working on it until it does.”