Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled his new full metaverse avatar with legs for the first time at the company’s Connect event on Tuesday.
Mr Zuckerberg announced that the full avatars will be rolled out later this year across phones and virtual reality headsets, calling them “more expressive and detailed than anything else today”.
He said the avatars previously didn’t have the feature because it was harder to accurately position body parts like legs in virtual reality.
“Legs are hard, which is why other virtual reality systems don’t have them either,” he said at the event.
The company announced that the new avatars with legs will be launched in Meta’s Horizon Worlds, a virtual playground for creators.
“Legs will roll out to Worlds first, so we can see how it goes. Then we’ll begin bringing legs into more experiences over time as our technology improves,” the company said.
The new announcement comes weeks after online backlash for an image Mr Zuckerberg posted on Instagram that showed his avatar standing in front of an Eiffel Tower.
“We’re launching Horizon Worlds in France and Spain today. Looking forward to seeing people explore and build immersive worlds, and to bringing this to more countries soon,” the Meta chief had captioned the image.
The post was met with online backlash with people calling out the virtual reality selfie as “ugly”, “dead-eyed”, and “scary”.
Mr Zuckerberg admitted that the image was “basic”, adding that the graphics in Horizon were “capable of much more — even on headsets — and Horizon is improving very quickly”.
On Tuesday, at the Connect event, Mr Zuckerberg joked that “everyone has been waiting for this” announcing the addition of legs to the avatars.
The company noted in a statement that its avatars are still evolving “to be better-looking, more capable and expressive, more customisable”.
“Each step brings us a bit closer to photorealistic avatars. Those are still a few years off, but we’re steadily improving both the technology and our understanding of how people want to show up in VR,” the company said.