Meta's Horizon Metaverse Avatars Finally Have Legs
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Legs at last! Meta’s Horizon Metaverse avatars can now walk

Meta Avatars in Horizon Worlds Now Have Virtual Legs

In an exciting update, Meta’s Horizon Worlds now features virtual legs for its avatars, addressing a long-standing issue with their appearance. Previously, the company’s virtual avatars only displayed the upper body, drawing widespread ridicule from users. However, with the latest update, players can now see the full body of their avatars in the mirror within the menu space, as well as when entering different worlds within the game.

It is important to note that the legs update only applies to third-person avatars, including other players and oneself seen in the mirror, rather than in first person. While many VR apps and games already offer virtual legs in both perspectives, they do not accurately match the movement of the user’s real legs. This discrepancy has often led to an unnatural experience, particularly when transitioning between sitting and standing or moving with a thumbstick. Although some users don’t mind these issues, others find it disconcerting.

Meta Avatars in Horizon Worlds
UploadVR staff David Heaney (left) and Kyle Riesenbeck (right) in Horizon Worlds

Interestingly, virtual legs arrived in the Quest home space (branded Horizon Home) two weeks ago for Quest firmware Public Test Channel users. However, this recent update marks the first time legs have been introduced within a VR app.

While third-party apps that use Meta Avatars, such as GOLF+, are currently unable to add legs due to the SDK not being updated, developers of Horizon Worlds seem to have early access to a new version of the SDK. It is speculated that Meta may wait to release the SDK update at its Connect conference, an annual event where the company announces and releases new features for its Quest VR platform. This year’s Connect conference is scheduled for September 27, less than two weeks from now.

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Meta Avatars Are Getting Legs, Then A Graphics Overhaul

Meta Avatars are set to receive third-person legs in the near future, followed by a major graphics overhaul next year. Additionally, they will soon support Quest Pro’s eye tracking and face tracking, enabling real-time mapping of users’ gaze, blinking, and facial expressions to their avatars. The introduction of legs in Horizon Worlds is just the beginning of the exciting advancements Meta has planned for their avatars.

Meta Avatars at Connect conference 2022

It is worth mentioning that last year, Meta also announced plans for a full graphics overhaul of their avatars, promising a more realistic style. However, there has been no further information on this update since then. The demo showcased by the company was created using motion capture technology rather than VR technology, leaving users eagerly awaiting the graphics overhaul promised.

As the VR industry continues to evolve, improvements in avatar representation, including virtual legs and realistic graphics, play a crucial role in enhancing the overall immersive experience. With Meta’s ongoing efforts, it is clear that avatars are becoming more sophisticated and lifelike, paving the way for even more realistic virtual interactions in the future.

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Written by Colin Cassidy

A game developer turned writer, Colin insights into the world of indie game creation have inspired many. His memoir, "Code to Canvas", recounts his journey from coding to storytelling.

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