Meta rolls out improved Metaverse avatars
Avatars are a key element of the Metaverse. Meta is now improving its avatars and bringing them to more platforms.
A few weeks ago, Meta introduced new VR avatars. They are more diverse, customizable, and last but not least, more expressive thanks to an AI algorithm that evaluates body movements and voice pitches and generates matching facial expressions.
Since the Metaverse, at least according to Zuckerberg's idea, is not limited to VR and AR and docks onto existing ecosystems, Meta is working on expanding its avatars to all the company's services and social platforms.
"VR and Quest are key parts of our metaverse vision, but we see the metaverse as an interconnected digital world, one that bridges VR and AR, in addition to more familiar platforms like your phone and computer. Rolling out avatars across our platforms is an early step towards making this a reality," Meta writes on its blog.
3D avatars for Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram
Facebook and Messenger already support 2D avatars that users can create and customize independently of VR avatars.
With the latest update, Meta brings the avatars into the third dimension, improves their customization options and appearance, and adds cochlear implants and hearing aids for people with hearing disabilities, which are also available for VR avatars. These new 3D avatars can be used as Facebook profile pictures and chat stickers, among other things, and can be posted in Chronicle posts.
The 3D avatars are also rolling out for the first time to Instagram Stories and Instagram's messaging service, underpinning Meta's plan to support all social networks. The new features are initially reserved for users in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
A closet full of avatars
The avatars are not unified: Those who want to can create separate avatars for VR, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger. This is intentional: According to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook link), it will one day even be possible to choose from a range of avatars, from expressive to photo-realistic.
Meta's research on codec avatars shows what photorealistic alter egos could look like one day. It will likely be several years before these are ready for the market, as the technology is in its infancy.
Read more about Metaverse:
- Virtual Reality: Why Meta need not fear Apple
- Microsoft chief sees Metaverse as 'next wave of the Internet'
- New Facebook tech chief to focus on Metaverse