Meta’s avatars are getting legs

Meta has announced several updates to the avatars to use in the Metaverse and beyond. And hey, the avatars will have legs! At least in the virtual sense, if not in the physical or metaphorical.

Meta says, “Legs have been one of the most requested features on our roadmap, and it’s been a key area of ​​our focus.” These updated avatars will first be available in Horizon Worlds before Meta opens them up to other developers.

With that in mind, Meta has created a software development kit so that the avatars can be used in virtual reality experiences and other third-party apps. That actually makes a lot of sense. Meta will never be able to create a true metaverse by tending a walled garden. As such, the SDK will soon include Unreal Engine support for VR and iOS, and Android support for Unity. The SDK will also enable what Meta calls “natural facial expressions” on Meta Quest Pro – the high-end VR headset will be able to replicate your actual facial expressions on your avatar.

Elsewhere, Meta wants to make it easier for you to create an avatar in the first place. It means you can start by taking a video selfie with your phone camera. You can then customize the avatar to your liking. Of course, if you want an avatar that doesn’t look like you, there’s nothing stopping you from creating one instead. There are also presets that you can use as a starting point.

In addition, you will soon be able to create and share your meta avatar in WhatsApp. Avatars will also be available for Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp video calls next year. They will mimic your facial expressions and movements during a call, seemingly in a similar way to Animoji.

However, it’s the legs and better-looking avatars than what we’ve seen from Meta before that will draw the most attention though. In early August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a screenshot of his avatar from Horizon Worlds, and it was widely mocked. A person said It was comparable to “a 2002 Nintendo GameCube release called ‘World Baby'”. Zuckerberg was quick to claim that “big updates” to VR visuals were on the way, and we learned more about those during Meta Connect (which were reportedly being quickly followed up). today.

The strange floating avatars currently seen in Horizon Worlds will eventually be a thing of the past. However, this picture will be remembered for a long time:

Zuckerberg's Horizon avatar was widely mocked.


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