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Why Meta’s virtual-reality avatars are lastly getting legs

Why Meta's virtual-reality avatars are finally getting legs
Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles as he shakes fingers with European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova previous to a gathering at EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Zuckerberg, unveiled new new avatar legs at a virtual-reality occasion Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. Credit score: AP Picture/Francisco Seco, File

Why is it so arduous to construct a metaverse avatar—a visible illustration of ourselves within the digital world—that walks on two legs?

“I believe everybody has been ready for this,” stated a cartoonish digital model of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, unveiling his new avatar legs and leaping up and down at a virtual-reality occasion Tuesday. “However critically, legs are arduous. Which is why different digital actuality programs haven’t got them both.”

Early avatar fashions launched by Meta, in addition to Microsoft, have been ridiculed for showing as legless, waist-up our bodies floating round their digital worlds.

That is partially as a result of tech firms have been keen to point out off their progress in constructing out virtual-reality environments whereas nonetheless engaged on the technical challenges of constructing avatars extra human-like and real looking. Meta renamed itself from Fb final 12 months in hopes of jumpstarting its company transformation right into a supplier of metaverse experiences for work and play.

Zuckerberg described legs as “in all probability essentially the most requested characteristic on our roadmap” and stated they are going to be accessible quickly on Meta’s Horizon virtual-reality platform. He stated the problem is perceptual, involving how the mind—taking in photos seen although a virtual-reality headset—accepts a rendering based mostly on how precisely it’s positioned.

Legs are more durable to render precisely as a result of they’re usually hidden from view.

“In case your legs are beneath a desk or in case your arms block your view of them, then your headset cannot see them instantly,” he stated.

Zuckerberg stated the corporate has been working to enhance how its synthetic intelligence programs monitor and predict the place legs and different physique elements needs to be shifting.

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