Mark Zuckerberg first showed off his full avatar, who now has legs, in real time after Meta was criticized for poor graphics

Mark Zuckerberg showed off his new real-time avatar at Meta’s Connect event. The group’s CEO has announced that his company will take an important step to make its virtual reality avatars more realistic: by giving them legs.

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg revealed his major metaverse ambitions nearly a year ago — betting the future of his company on the idea that the next era of the internet will be about virtual and augmented reality — many have criticized, mocking and deriding the tech giant’s plans as unrealistic. about the fact that digital 3D avatars intended to mimic our bodies currently have no lower limbs.

Zuckerberg himself was ridiculed online when he enthusiastically shared a screenshot of his avatar on his Facebook page in August. Mark Zuckerberg posted a screenshot of his digital avatar in front of the Eiffel Tower to announce the launch of Horizon Worlds in France and Spain. Unfortunately for him, the internet more or less immediately started mimicking the virtual reality platform screenshot — probably because the graphics, as one Twitter user described it, were roughly equivalent to the Teletubbies game. for the PlayStation One.

Zuckerberg reportedly saw the memes and posted new screenshots to Facebook and Instagram, showing a significantly more realistic version of himself and an old-looking place. “Major Horizon updates and avatar graphics are coming soon,” he said, promising to share more details at the next Connect conference scheduled for October 11.

I know you’ve been waiting for it. Everyone was waiting for it,” a visually enhanced avatar of Zuckerberg said during Tuesday’s presentation. But seriously, legs are heavy, which is why other VR systems don’t have them either.

The fact that Zuckerberg now prioritizes legs in the metaverse shows how much public perception of the metaverse matters, and that perhaps the most difficult challenge for Meta to succeed is solving the seemingly simple (albeit technically complex) visual problems) is technology.

Meta must show that she is in touch with reality, even though she is building an alternate universe. It’s a particularly critical time for the company, which should get people excited about the metaverse, as the tech giant’s stock has been in free fall for a year and many of its employees are said to have questioned the company’s big bets on the area. from AR/VR.

The reason it was so hard for Meta to recreate our legs in the metaverse is because their AR/VR headsets currently only track upper-body movements like hands and facial gestures. So the company can’t know what our legs are doing when we’re wearing one of its helmets.

To be clear, the avatars of Meta’s current AR/VR products, including the new high-end Quest Pro headset that just launched, still don’t have legs. The company says it will first revamp its social environment, Horizon Worlds, before rolling out to other products. But it’s unclear when exactly these legs will be available. And that remains a major technical challenge that must be solved.

Moreover, giving foothold to the social environment is not the only concern of the team responsible for the project at Meta. Indeed, according to internal memos Horizon Worlds, Meta’s VR social network — the company’s flagship metaverse app — suffers from too many quality issues that even the team building it wouldn’t use it much. In Horizon Worlds, people can work together and bring your wildest ideas to life, without ever leaving VR.

Horizon Worlds allows people to build and interact with virtual worlds. This is an important step after CEO Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook as Meta; the company spends billions a year to build its metaverse vision. The multiplayer platformer launched last December on Meta’s Quest headset. It reached 300,000 users earlier this year and is expected to be available soon on mobiles and desktops via a web version, though Vishal’s notes indicate a web release may be delayed.

Zuckerberg said Meta will use predictive AI models to guess what our legs are doing based on upper body movements. No other AR/VR hardware manufacturer has achieved this to date. But that’s not out of the question for Meta, a company that has one of the largest engineering teams in the world and spends $10 billion a year alone on metaverse projects.

With standalone VR headsets, it is surprisingly difficult to understand your leg position due to occlusion,” Zuckerberg explained about the technical challenge in the presentation. So if your legs are under a desk or your arms are blocking your view of it, your headset won’t be able to see them directly and you’ll need to build an AI model to predict your full body position.

Meta says it will not only improve the avatars by adding legs, but will refine the visuals more generally. The company said Tuesday that its new high-end headset, the Quest Pro, has inward-facing head sensors to track eye movements and facial expressions, allowing for more realistic expressions on avatars. A spokesperson also said the company will be adding incremental updates to the style and look of Meta Avatars over time, including expressions, depth, shade and more styling options, clothing and accessories.

To be fair, some of what may have disappointed some reviewers so far about Meta’s AR/VR products is what gets lost in the translation from the virtual to the physical world. Meta’s AR/VR experiences are more realistic and impressive when wearing a headset, immersed in a 3D AR/VR world, than when viewing a 2D screenshot of that environment on a computer screen. However, it is essential that Zuckerberg and his team quickly find a solution to the avatar’s legs problem, as well as to improve the avatar’s graphics overall.

While critics warn of a possible early death for the Metaverse, exemplified by Garrido, a psychology and methodology researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Catlica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, some observers believe the cyber sickness, or evil of virtual reality, could means an early death for the Metaverse.

If Meta fails to come up with a simple solution and convince the public that the metaverse is worth exploring, the company’s future could be in jeopardy. That’s why it’s smart that Zuckerberg gave in to the trolls today and promised to give people what they want, even if it’s technically complicated.

Meta, Microsoft and other tech giants starting to build the emerging metaverse concept have formed a group, the Metaverse Standards Forum, to promote the development of industry standards that make nascent digital business worlds compatible. . Those interested in the Metaverse Project have announced that they have established the Metaverse Standards Forum. Meta is of course a founding member, and big names in technology like Adobe, Microsoft and Nvidia are too. However, the participation of Apple and Google is lacking.

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Also see:

Meta and other tech giants create a metaverse standards organization, without Apple

After the spot, Mark Zuckerberg promises to improve the graphics of his metaverse platform and publishes a new avatar, he also announces the arrival of Horizon World in France and Spain

Cyber ​​sickness, the evil of virtual reality, could spell an early death for the Metaverse, despite these fears Microsoft begins building the concept

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