At Meta’s Connect conference on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg made a huge announcement: The avatars in the company’s Horizon VR app will soon be getting legs. To demonstrate this groundbreaking engineering feat, Zuckerberg’s digital avatar lifted each leg in the air and then jumped, while Aigerim’s avatar kicked Shorman into the air.
It could have all been for show. According to UploadVR editor Ian Hamilton, an unnamed Meta spokesperson said that “the segment featured animations created from motion capture” intended to enable “this preview of what’s to come.” To me, that sounds like what we saw wasn’t really a demo of what Horizon’s legs will look like, but rather an artist’s interpretation of what Horizon’s legs will look like. be able to eventually look like.
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. Because, really, this was easy to see coming. My colleague Jay Peters even warned that the pre-recorded video wasn’t necessarily an accurate representation in his coverage of the announcement. But if Meta is really trying to say that his presentation didn’t include any footage of what legs will look like as interpreted by your Quest headset, that’s somewhat concerning. This feature should be coming soon, but we can’t see it yet? How am I supposed to know if I should spend $1,500 on a Quest Pro if I can’t be sure I can have my virtual avatar jump on the conference table and do a dance during a virtual meeting?
I guess we’ll just have to wait for the legs to actually launch to see how Meta’s AI-predicted legs compare to the real deal. For now, I think we’re just getting a kick out of Zuckerberg’s awkward “demonstration” — even if all that really proved that computers are, in fact, capable of making legs somehow.