During an interview with Lex Fridman, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, unveiled groundbreaking photorealistic avatars for the Metaverse.
Meta, the umbrella company overseeing social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, continues to nurture its vision of a virtual world. When Zuckerberg initially introduced the concept of the Metaverse, it was quite rudimentary.
The virtual avatars were simple and lacked depth, making the VR experiences rather uninspiring. Despite the company facing substantial financial losses in this venture, Zuckerberg remains undeterred. The tech magnate seems poised to redefine the Metaverse’s reputation with the introduction of a new technology that facilitates communication using photorealistic avatars.
The future of communication could be photorealistic avatars
The Facebook creator sat in on a conversation with Lex Fridman to demonstrate the technology; Here, Zuckerberg and Fridman can be seen wearing the Meta Quest Pro headset and communicating with each other through photorealistic avatars from different cities. So what exactly is happening here? Zuckerberg explains that he and Fridman had to run a computer scan , which maps all of the individual’s facial expressions, muscle movements, aesthetics, and more to create a custom codec .
The scan of the individual is then placed in the virtual world, and when the user puts on the headset, this virtual avatar comes to life. Zuckerberg states that the photorealistic quality is valid for now from the shoulders up , but Meta is working on the legs. Meta’s virtual world , Horizon Worlds , has been criticized for avatars that often look like cartoon characters. It seems that Zuckerberg has stopped these criticisms and decided to take an important step towards photorealistic avatars.
So, what will this technology be used for? Zuckerberg says individuals can use this technology to communicate remotely in a very human way . Business meetings, therapy, interviews, and any other way communication is required can be done remotely using special codecs. Fridman describes the experience as ” incredible ” and says it’s interesting that Zuckerberg “feels” like he’s sitting across from her when he’s not in the physical world. Meta CEO also says that corporate companies can adopt this technology.
For now, these photorealistic avatars are not available for regular users. However, according to Zuckerberg, the future of this technology will be people scanning themselves with their smartphones and creating an avatar. Users will then be able to participate in a variety of communication-based events, perhaps even live events such as stand-up comedy shows, parkour events, or a variety of other events. Of course, there are a number of hurdles to overcome to achieve this level of photorealism, from being able to scan our faces with our smartphones to ethical questions around privacy.