AltspaceVR New Avatars to Go Live This Week
Expressive avatars are at the core of social interactions in VR. The social VR platform AltspaceVR is planning a long overdue new avatar system this week according to a tweet posted last week:
Get ready, Altspacers! Our NEW AVATARS GO LIVE NEXT WEEK!
Your new avatars will have reactive eye movements! more mouth shapes! And plenty more customization options!
— AltspaceVR (@AltspaceVR) July 9, 2020
The last avatar update was done towards the end of 2018 and came with a number of features such as facial hair, new clothing as well as accessories. However, that update did not change the stiff puppet-like look in the avatars. This week’s update is set to change that.
The AltspaceVR team had several objectives during the development of the new avatar system. First, the new system should allow for as much as freedom of design and diversity as possible which will enable users to avoid pre-defined social expectations, to better express themselves and which also allow them to better explore their social identities.
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However, the developers of the new avatar system factored in visual uniformity which means no avatar will fall out of the frame and every avatar will always be experienced as a part of the whole. The new system retains the comic look to keep the technical requirements at a minimum. AltspaceVR currently runs on practically all Virtual Reality glasses.
The developers also wanted to make the VR interactions more realistic in order to create stronger emotional connections between users. The mouth movements are now a lot more realistic than with the current avatars and when two avatars are talking, they can gesture towards one another. You can see the pairs of eyes focused on another and they can even blink.
AltspaceVR announced the new avatar system in June. According to tweet posted last week, the new avatar update is set to arrive this week. The development team has also been working under Microsoft’s aegis from the summer of 2017 and has since released various updates.