Meta Avatars are getting third-person legs soon, and a major graphics overhaul next year.
They will also get support for Quest Pro’s eye tracking and face tracking later this month so your gaze, blinking, and facial expressions are mapped to your avatar in real-time.
Legs will arrive in Horizon Worlds first later this year, and then be available to all developers via the SDK next year. You’ll only see other people’s though, not your own.
Many third-party apps & games already give you virtual legs. No shipping VR system has built-in leg tracking though, so virtual legs don’t match the movement of your real legs. Some people don’t mind this, or even prefer it, but it feels disconcerting to many. Meta is getting around this by only showing an inferred position of the legs of other people, not your own when you look down.
There are still major challenges to even showing other people’s legs though, such as how to gracefully handle the transition between sitting and standing, and how to make the legs look natural when moving around with the thumbstick. In many apps today avatars look more like they’re shuffling and sliding than really walking.
Mark Zuckerberg also announced that the complete graphics overhaul he first teased in August will arrive later next year. What was shown still looks like concept tech art, but the goal is clearly a significant increase in graphical fidelity over the simplistic avatars of today.
Meta also shared progress on its long-term research & development of photorealistic “Codec Avatars”, but as always cautioned this is still years away from shipping.