Oculus has announced the launch of their new and improved avatars on a few select VR titles. If you own Topgolf with Pro Putt, PokerStars VR, or Epic Rollercoasters, you will be able to customize every aspect of your new avatar from your clothing and hairstyle to body shape and cosmetics.
You can also change facial features and add in wrinkles. According to Oculus, this can result in “over one quintillion permutations”. A stupid number but it does go to show that they are trying to be serious about player choice.
In a blog post about the new avatars, the team at Oculus spoke about some of the underlying technologies they used to make the experience more immersive:
“You might also notice your avatar has better moves than before. No, this isn’t a commentary on your dancing, but a nod to the machine-learning based motion prediction technology that powers this next generation of avatars.
“Trying to mimic how your body is moving in real-life presents a huge technical challenge. We’ve spent a lot of time in our research and development facilities studying physical movement and have used those learnings to train a model that predicts your shoulder and elbow positions based on where your headset and controllers are located.
“The result is a more nimble and emotive avatar — not because we’ve changed the hardware, but because we’re making some really great educated guesses. It’s one more step towards better social presence in VR, building on the work we did to give avatars physically based eye gaze, micro expressions, and audio-driven facial animations in 2018.”
If you own Topgolf with Pro Putt, PokerStars VR, or Epic Rollercoasters you can try out these avatars today but they have also announced that support will be arriving for Synth Riders and ForeVR Bowling in the near future. They also have plans to release the SDK to all developers later this year.