Almost a year has passed since Meta’s announcement at Connect 2022, revealing its plan to give its unique Caspar the Friendly Ghost-style metaverse avatars a more human touch with the addition of legs. The long-awaited moment is now approaching, with the latest beta version of the Quest software featuring avatars in the Quest Home donning extra limbs.
These newfound legs won’t be visible to you when you look down, as noted by UploadVR. They will only come into view in third-person or when you encounter a virtual mirror, much like the perspective in many first-person shooter games. This approach makes sense, considering that current consumer virtual reality systems lack leg tracking capabilities. As a result, Meta doesn’t need to overly concern itself with hyper-realistic leg animations; instead, it can focus on avoiding comical QWOP-style physics.
However, it appears that your avatar’s legs won’t replicate crouching motions in the third-person view when you bend your knees or sit down. This might introduce some awkwardness when you’re attempting to maintain eye contact (to the extent possible in virtual reality spaces) with another user.
Meta Quest v57 PTC finally adds legs to your Meta avatar 😀 pic.twitter.com/3dzuuppp6e
— Luna (@Lunayian) August 29, 2023
Although the legs haven’t yet made their way to the VR version of Horizon Worlds, they should be visible in the mobile and web versions for those participating in testing. Interestingly, Meta previously stated that legs would first be introduced to Worlds before being incorporated into other avatar-friendly experiences. UploadVR also points out that Meta hasn’t publicly updated its software development kit for avatars, meaning external developers using that toolkit still can’t experiment with legs in the company’s virtual environments.
An Engadget inquiry confirmed that all users will gradually start seeing avatars with legs in the virtual reality editions of Quest Home and Horizon Worlds over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Meta is gearing up to share a wealth of VR-related news at the upcoming Meta Connect event next month. One confirmed aspect of the event is that Meta will unveil more details about the Quest 3.