Oculus begins to roll out new avatars, directed to Facebook, Messenger and Instagram
Facebook is rolling out its latest avatars, Oculus Avatars 2.0, which it hopes will finally unify virtual identity across Oculus apps and Facebook products. In addition to becoming the default avatars for Facebook Horizon and possibly being integrated into Oculus games, Facebook also announced that the new avatars will eventually find their way to the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, etc.
Facebook has started rolling out its latest avatars which bring a major update to visuals and movement over previous avatars.
Since a VR headset and controllers only tell the computer where your head and hands are located, it’s quite difficult to accurately predict where the rest of your body (such as your elbows and shoulders ) must be displayed in the virtual world. Facebook says it has relied on new machine learning-based methods to create more believable and expressive avatar movements based solely on the movement of your head and hands.
Facebook claims that Avatars 2.0 offers much more customization than the previous system, now allowing users to individually customize skin tone, hair style, face shape / markings / lines, eye shape, eyebrows, eye makeup, etc. Combined with other options like clothing, glasses, and body types, the company says there are over a quintillion possible avatar combinations.
While anyone running the latest version of the Oculus Quest software should be able to customize an avatar with the new system, it will still be some time before they can be widely integrated into Oculus applications; Facebook is only offering the new system to certain developers at the moment, with free access to the Avatars 2.0 SDK slated for “later this year.”
Three apps now support the Oculus Avatars 2.0 out of the box: Epic roller coasters, PokerStars VR, and Topgolf with Pro Putt. Facebook says the new avatars will also appear soon in Synthetic jumpers and ForeVR Bowling.
When it comes to Facebook’s own VR products, the company says that later this year, Oculus Avatars 2.0 will replace avatars in Horizon Facebook, the company’s social virtual reality application that remains in closed beta. Outside of virtual reality, the company also announced that Avatars 2.0 will be coming – in one form or another – to the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, and other unspecified Facebook products.