We still haven’t actually seen what legs will look like in Meta’s VR world

14 Oct 2022

Image: Meta

CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have pulled off some virtual lower-limb stunts at the Meta Connect event, but it is likely we don’t have the full picture.

Earlier this week, Meta announced a host of updates on its metaverse-related projects, including finally revealing the Quest Pro mixed reality headset.

But one of the highlights of the event was a revelation that put to rest worries around something that had been up in the air (literally) for a while: the lack of legs for avatars on Horizon Worlds.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the much-awaited announcement through a demonstration in Meta’s virtual world that involved lifting each leg in the air before doing a jump – not quite ground-breaking but certainly welcome among Horizon fans.

However, according to UploadVR editor Ian Hamilton, Zuckerberg’s little show had a caveat. Apparently, the legs he flaunted weren’t generated by the AI-powered capabilities of the new Quest Pro headset but motion capture technology.

“To enable this preview of what’s to come, the segment featured animations created from motion capture,” Hamilton quoted from a Meta spokesperson in a tweet.

This means that the feat we witnessed Zuckerberg achieve is probably not an accurate representation of what legs will look like next year when they are finally made available through the Quest Pro.

Zuckerberg said at the Connect event that legs on Horizon Worlds avatars was “probably the most requested feature on our roadmap”.

“Legs!” he said. “I think everyone has been waiting for this!”

Before the latest announcement, avatars on Meta’s virtual world consisted of floating torsos with a head and without any lower limbs.

Unfortunately, being legless didn’t stop some users from groping other avatars, as was reported by a Horizon Worlds beta tester last November. This led Meta to announce the Personal Boundary feature to help users avoid unwanted interactions.

Without a real demonstration of what legs will actually look like, some prospective buyers may be waiting a while before spending €1,800 on the new Quest Pro to be released on 25 October.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic