Zuckerberg hypes eye contact breakthrough

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed the company’s next VR (virtual reality) headset would launch in October, promoting the device on improved social presence features including the ability to replicate eye contact. 

Speaking on podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, Mark Zuckerberg highlighted improved avatar interaction in its upcoming headset, focusing on better projection of non-verbal communication.

He noted it would be able to track and project facial expressions such as frowning. He added it would also be the first of its devices that could deliver “eye contact” through avatars.

“For previous versions … eye contact was all just AI simulated, we didn’t actually know when you were making eye contact because we weren’t tracking the eyes,” he said.

“Now for this version, and hopefully a lot of the different ones we build going forward, you’ll be able to have realistic facial expressions and more transmitted directly to your avatar.”

Zuckerberg added it was part of a roadmap to deliver a “real sense of presence like you’re there with another person no matter where you actually are.”

The device release will be Meta’s latest move in its drive to push VR, AR and extended reality as part of its overall metaverse project, which the company has been pouring cash into following its rebrand from Facebook.

Its current VR headset, the Meta Quest 2, was released in 2020 originally using the Oculus brand. It also sells smart glasses as part of a deal with Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica.


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