Meta, formerly known as Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg used a huge part of his Connect 2022 keynote presentation to demonstrate and talk about all of the upgrades coming to avatars in the company’s main metaverse app, Horizon Worlds. People had not received the avatars well as they said the characters had cold, dead-eyed demeanors and did not have any legs.
This time, Zuckerberg announced that they will have legs. In a pre-recorded Horizon Worlds session (the first time an actual Horizon Worlds clip, and not just a rough idea of what the world could be, has been featured at Connect), the founder and avatar development exec Aigerim Shorman both appeared as their new-and-improved, legged avatars, jumping, and kicking to show off their pixelated stems.
However, not every avatar had legs. Maybe it is underway or maybe it is a way for the company to charge customers to have legs on their avatars.
That lack of legs has tainted Zuckerberg’s expensive metaverse vision for quite a long time. It is centered on both realism and complete immersion; immersion is a difficult thing to achieve in an undeveloped space, Wii Mii-like faces roam around as floating torsos. It was quite evident that he had taken a deep effect of the criticism on the legs.
“Seriously, legs are hard,” said VR Zuckerberg, “which is why other virtual reality systems don’t have them either.”
Meta claims to have solved the problem through predictive AI, which, as Zuck further explained, is able to statistically track and predict how a Horizon Worlds avatar’s limb would naturally be following any given movement. This would eliminate the issue of occlusion.
It is an achievement for Zuckerberg and his top metamates as they work through Horizon and beyond, making Instagram Reels and answering Zoom calls. There is a lot of work that still needs to be put in though!