Meta is adding to its avatars system new facial shapes as well as assistive devices for people with disabilities designed to “better reflect the billions of unique people on this planet.”
“We will also be adding limited-time offerings for NFL fans as we begin to bring real-world fandom into the metaverse,” Meta announced in a blog post.
Here’s a look at some of the new cochlear implant options for Meta’s avatars:
“One day you’ll have multiple avatars ranging from expressive to photorealistic,” Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today.
Avatars are key to Zuckerberg’s strategic vision for a “metaverse” that sees his company able to shape key aspects of personal computing going forward. While some apps like Eleven Table Tennis and GOLF+ already adopt Meta avatars, the avatar editor being only available on Quest and Rift limits wider appeal. Popular apps such as Rec Room and VRChat use their own avatar systems which allow users on other platforms to customize how they look. The cartoonish art-style of Meta’s current system also makes them unsuitable for many games – even titles from studios owned by Meta don’t use the system. Put another way, 2022 is likely to see big changes to avatars as competing platform companies roll out new capabilities to developers.
“We know you may want to represent yourself differently on different platforms, so right now you can create three different Avatars if you choose—one for Facebook and Messenger, another for Instagram, and a third for VR. And if you’ve set up Accounts Center and chosen to sync your Avatar, any changes you make to your Avatar on Facebook and Messenger will automatically appear on Instagram as well, and vice versa. Over time, our goal is to eventually make it easy and seamless to move your Avatar from place to place if you want,” Meta’s blog post reads.
The roll-out of the new 3D avatars is supposed to take place over the course of “the next few months” on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. They should appear starting today for people in the United States, Canada, and Mexico as people can set their avatars to show up in stickers, feed posts, Facebook profile pictures, and other areas. The new feature is coupled with the release of t-shirts people can put on their avatars to show support for either the Bengals, Rams, or Super Bowl LVI itself.
Meta provided the following image to show the progress of its avatars system between April of 2021 and January 2022.
Meta says it will continue to add new “items” to the avatar editor throughout 2022.