Meta’s avatars finally grow some legs

It’s been nearly a year since Meta announced at Connect 2022 that it would give its weird Caspar the Friendly Ghost-esque metaverse avatars some legs to make them appear slightly more human. The day of reckoning is almost upon us as Quest Home avatars now sport extra limbs in the latest beta version of the Quest software.

You won’t see legs on your avatar when you look down, as UploadVR points out. They’ll only be visible in third-person or when you’re looking at a virtual mirror (much like in many first-person shooter games). This makes sense, as there’s no leg tracking option on any current consumer virtual reality system. It means Meta doesn’t have to worry too much about having accurate leg animations instead of, I don’t know, wacky QWOP-style physics?

In addition, it seems your avatar’s legs won’t crouch in third-person view when you bend your knees or sit down. That could make things a little awkward when you’re trying to maintain eye contact (as much as that’s possible in VR spaces) with another user.

The legs are not in the VR version of Horizon Worlds as yet, though you should see them in the mobile and web versions if you’re one of the folks testing those. Curiously, Meta said last year that “legs will roll out to Worlds first” before making their way to other avatar-friendly experiences. UploadVR also notes that Meta hasn’t publicly updated its software development kit for avatars, so external developers using that toolset can’t play around with legs in the company’s virtual spaces yet either.

This could all come to a head next month when this year’s Meta Connect takes place. Perhaps the company will have more to say about its virtual legs then. One thing we know for sure about the event is that Meta will reveal much more about the Quest 3.

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