Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company’s future virtual reality headsets will be able to capture user facial expressions that can be used to create more natural avatars.
Zuckerberg in an interview with the news agency The Information He talked about the future of the company’s virtual and augmented reality products, including the next Oculus VR headset. “One of the things that really excites me about future headsets is the ability to track eyes and faces, because if you really want to be better in cyberspace, your device has to have sensors that can create natural animated avatars,” he said. “So that you can communicate better.”
Facebook CEO says hardware changes are one of the most important factors in making an avatar. He said one of the biggest goals the company is currently focusing on is to research virtual reality headsets to fit more sensors into them and create a better social experience.
He added that there are already a lot of fun games and applications for virtual reality headsets, but he wants the headset to be able to create the user’s natural avatar so that eye contact and natural facial expressions can be displayed.
Facebook has released several versions of VR avatars so far, and Zuckerberg says the new generation of avatars will be released later this year, and then a more natural version will follow. He compares the desired quality of his avatar to Epic’s MetaHuman tool, which allows animators to create very natural virtual faces. He wants Facebook to be able to produce high-quality avatars with the help of large-scale machine learning.
Zuckerberg also announced Oculus plans to launch the Quest 2 and Quest 3 headsets, indicating that Facebook is keen to continue its strong presence in the standalone VR headset market in the future. The social network is also interested in augmented reality (AR) and is set to launch its smart glasses later this year in collaboration with Ray-Ben. Of course, Zuckerberg emphasizes that these glasses will not have augmented reality capabilities.
Zuckerberg also talked about the acquisition of CTRL-Labs, a maker of neural signal recognition bracelets, which somehow makes Facebook a competitor to Noralink. “I do not think people would like to be pierced to use virtual or augmented reality,” he joked to the company. He points out that Nuralink will have a variety of applications, including in the medical field, but will not be commercially available any time soon.