For many people, social experiences are the next frontier of virtual reality (VR). There are still obstacles to overcome, but progress is being made to move user avatars out of the uncanny valley whilst allowing for more realism. Oculus have announced that not only is it improving its avatars, those avatars will be able to follow users to other platforms.
At the Oculus Connect event, Oculus announced that it would be introducing new options for customising user avatars. It will be possible for users to unlock new customisation options by playing certain VR titles, such as the unique Rez Infinite skin, which was created to celebrate the trance shooter heading to Oculus Rift.
In addition, Oculus Avatars will have real-time lip sync, so mouth movements will match what users are saying to their friends. Another new feature is eye-tracking, which will allow the user avatar’s gaze to glance towards interesting features in the environment around them. This also reduces the ‘uncanny valley’ effect by making the avatar look for animated and life-like.
Oculus Avatars had already been ale to follow users between the two Oculus-powered VR platforms, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, but in a somewhat surprising announcement, Oculus Avatars will soon be able to follow users into Steam VR and eventually Google Daydream.
Oculus Avatars will be available cross-platform for Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Steam VR from 2018.
VRFocus will bring you further information on Oculus Avatars as it becomes available.
Update: The previous title ‘Oculus Working With Google For Cross-Platform Avatars’ was felt to be misleading as Oculus isn’t directly working with Google on the cross-platform avatars. VRFocus apologises for the error.