According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, facebook’s future virtual reality headsets will register facial expressions of users. This should ensure a more realistic one where, for example, ‘real’ eye contact is possible.
Authentic eye contact in VR
Zuckerberg sees the creation of realistic avatars as the next step in the social experience in virtual reality. Sensors in the headsets have to register hand and facial movements, but also the reactions of the eyes. This way, the digital opposites can communicate credibly and, for example, ‘authentic’ eye contact is possible. Facebook released multiple VR avatars for its apps like Social VR. Zuckerberg confirms that new avatars will be released for the Oculus Rift S later this year.
In an interview with The Information, Zuckerberg says he likes to get to the point where “real facial expressions are reflected in your avatar.” This is possible, for example, with the recently announced lip sensor from HTC.
Realistic avatars with machine learning.
Zuckerberg sees his vision in tools such as Epic’s MetaHuman tool. Designed by Unreal Engine, this software creates photo-realistic virtual characters used for motion capture and video games. Zuckerberg’s plan is to use a machine learning program, focussed on looking at imagery, to create more photo realistic avatars. This makes it possible to quickly and easily give people a digital version of themselves to use in the virtual world.