During the keynote at its Meta Connect 2022 event, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, announced several avatar updates which she wants you to use in the Metaverse and beyond! And the avatars want legs! At least in the virtual sense of the term, if not in the physical or metaphorical sense. “Avatars will be central to how we express ourselves in the futureZuckerberg said.
Meta’s Horizon avatars are going to have legs. Until now, company avatars have been oddly content to float above the ground, but sometime next year, Meta will let you add legs to your virtual reality (VR) avatars, mobile and otherwise, as part of the company’s next generation of avatars.
—Meta (@Meta) 11 October 2022
The legs areprobably the most requested feature on our roadmapsaid Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, at the company’s Connect 2022 event while showing off the new avatars, which look significantly better than the avatars currently available. “But seriously, the legs are hard, that’s why other VR systems don’t have them either.“, he clarifies.
According to Zuckerberg, the company started with avatars that don’t have a full body because it has been difficult for a VR headset to accurately estimate where things like your elbow or your legs actually are. If the system made them appear inaccurate in VR, it would break the immersion.
When it comes to the arms, Meta has come to better understand what those body parts are doing thanks to improved tracking and prediction technologies. Legs can be more difficult because of the occlusion, Zuckerberg explained. For example, if your legs are under a desk, it’s hard for a standalone VR headset to figure out what they’re doing because the desk blocks the view of the headset’s cameras. Instead of being able to represent the legs, Meta built an AI model to predict your full body position.
The avatars’ legs will first be available on Meta’s Horizon social VR platform, but it’s unclear when exactly. They will be integrated intomore experiences over time as we improve our technology stackZuckerberg said. During the Connect event, they seemed to move quite naturally, but since it was a pre-recorded video, we don’t yet know how they’ll look in practice.
Meta plans to introduce avatars in Reels and video chat
Meta doesn’t just work on the legs; it plans to add a whole lot of new features related to avatars. She announced that she would be working at the introduction of his avatars in the wheels, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Metas bringing its avatars to the wheels appears to be part of its push to further integrate avatars with Metas’ other products, such as Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp. The company says it wants users to be able to use avatars “wherever they want to express themselves“.
The company also announced that it is working on enabling users to do souse their avatars instead of their live video in video chats on WhatsApp and Messenger and that she sees the use of avatars in this way as a kind of “third mode” between “video on” and “video off”. Meta says it plans to launch this avatar feature for video chat next year.
Besides, Meta will launch an avatar store in VR later this year to make it easier for you to shop for specific clothes and looks.
The strange floating avatars currently seen in Horizon Worlds will eventually be a thing of the past. But this picture will be remembered for a long time: