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Meta’s avatars in Meta Horizon Worlds have legs now, which is apparently a big deal

Published Sep 15th, 2023 12:23PM EDT
Meta Horizon loading screen
Image: Meta

What iPhone 15 Pro? It’s all about legs now.

If you’ve ever ventured into Meta Horizon Worlds on a Meta Quest headset, you know what I’m talking about. While you’ve been able to hang out with all kinds of people in the virtual environment, you’ve technically only been able to hang out with about half of them. Up until now, no one in Meta Horizon World had legs.

Instead of seeing a full avatar, everyone has always appeared as a floating torso with a head. It’s been a goofy experience that all of us have pretty much gotten used to over the years. However, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company was working on bringing legs to avatars eventually and even previewed the feature at last year’s Meta Connect. A couple of weeks before this year’s Connect event, legs are finally rolling out to everyone.

As reported by UploadVR, legs are finally showing up on avatars in Meta Horizon Worlds. So, if you log in today and start walking around public spaces, you’ll likely start seeing some legs that are actually attached to the rest of the body you’ve been accustomed to seeing floating around. However, there are still a couple of scenarios in which you will not see the new legs.

According to the report, you’ll be able to see other people’s legs as well as your own when you are looking in the mirror to edit your avatar. However, you will not see your own legs in first-person when you are navigating through the world. It also appears that legs are still only enabled in Meta’s own experiences. Third-party apps that use Meta avatars do not seem to be able to enable legs just yet.

Many VR apps & games already give you virtual legs in both first and third person. But no shipping VR system has built-in leg tracking, so virtual legs don’t match the actual movement of your real legs. Further, there’s not really a graceful way to handle the transition between sitting and standing, nor to make the legs look natural when moving around with the thumbstick. Some people don’t mind these issues with fake virtual legs, but it feels disconcerting to others.

I’m sure that Zuckerberg and friends will talk about legs again when the company hosts its Meta Connect event later this month and hopefully give a timeline on when legs can be used across apps that use the avatars. The event is set to kick off on September 27th with a keynote by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a Developer State of the Union afterward. In addition to talking about legs, the company has promised to go into detail about the Quest 3, its newest mixed-reality headset.

The Quest 3 will come in a 40% slimmer optic profile, a Snapdragon chip capable of twice the GPU processing speed as the Quest 2, higher-resolution displays, and new Touch Plus controllers. And, of course, the headset will be capable of full-color passthrough mixed reality. It will also feature the 6GHz wireless band in addition to the current 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands from the Quest 2.

The Meta Quest 3 will start at $499, a whopping seven times cheaper than Apple’s Vision Pro mixed-reality headset. While I’d love to get into the future with Apple, I think I’ll be sticking with the Quest for now just on price alone. We’ll see what Meta has in store for all of us in a couple of weeks, legs and all.

We’re fully in Techtember now!

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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