Zuckerberg Ends Long-Lasting Controversy, Promising Legs for Metaverse Avatars

Zuckerberg Ends Long-Lasting Controversy, Promising Legs for Metaverse Avatars

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that the avatars on Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ metaverse platform will soon have legs. Reportedly, a bottom half for avatars was the most requested feature by the platform’s users, and is expected to be implemented next year.

Legs Challenging for VR Hardware.

Horizon Worlds avatars are currently designed to float without a bottom half, and Zuckerberg claims that the metaverse had initially started out using avatars without any visible body at all, due to the difficulty for VR headsets to accurately estimate and map the lower parts of the body.

"But seriously, legs are hard, which is why other virtual reality systems don't have them either," Zuckerberg explained during the company's Connect event.

Representing legs in the metaverse can often be challenging due to obstruction. For example, if a user’s legs are tucked beneath a desk, the furniture would be expected to obscure the headset’s vision, which in itself can be hard to process, let alone for a standalone VR headset to track the movement of the lower part of the body thereafter.

With that being said, it is not entirely impossible either, with popular VR game “VRChat” featuring a full range of body movements, and some users even participating in fitness classes.

To tackle this issue, Meta claims to be building an AI model capable of calculating and predicting the position of the whole body.

While presenting the improved avatar designs, the Meta CEO admitted that legs are “probably the most requested feature on our roadmap,”

More Avatar Updates on the Way

Though a specific date for the highly requested featue has not yet been announced, avatar legs will first become available on Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ social VR platform. Meta’s efforts for future updates extend beyond legs, with the platform working to include a wide spectrum of avatar functionality.

Meta revealed its plans to open an avatar store in virtual reality later this year, making it easier for users to buy clothing in specific styles.

The business intends to create photorealistic, emotive avatars that can represent users in a wide range of settings, and the company’s plans include functionality that would allow users’ avatars to join Instagram Reels, Messenger, and WhatsApp video calls. Meta has notably already rolled out support for NFTs on both Instagram and Facebook.

The news about the introduction of legs comes alongside the announcement of the launch of the new hardware being developed by Meta—the Quest Pro VR headset. The new tech is slated to release on October 25th.

Meta Quest has been drumming up hype for the new product on Twitter, saying: “The VR revolution is underway”. The compact headset features “next-generation optics” and “premium comfort” for $1,499.

On the Flipside

  • Reality Labs, the wing of Meta specializing in VR, reported losses for the seventh consecutive quarter.
  • Zuckerberg had previously received backlash on social media after posting a picture with his metaverse avatar in front of a representation of the Eiffel Tower. Users immediately criticized the image, comparing the quality to the visuals found in 1990s video games.
  • With Zuckerberg’s new aspirations for the firm, the stock of Meta has suffered greatly in recent months, with prices approaching a four-year low.

Why You Should Care

Despite the criticism, Meta’s social VR platform hit 300,000 users at the start of the year. The 10x increase over a three month period shows that the platform is growing at a rapid speed.

Read more about big tech companies’ attempts developing the metaverse:
Big Tech Metaverses: Everything You Need To Know About Meta, Microsoft, Google, And Apple

Read more about the new era of the job market:
5 Metaverse Professions You Didn’t Know Existed in 2022

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