Facebook animates photo-realistic avatars to mimic VR users’ faces

Facebook wants you to look and move like you in VR, even if you’ve got a headset strapped to your face in the real world. That’s why its building a new technology that uses a photo to map someone’s face into VR, and then sensors to detect facial expressions and movements to animate that avatar so it looks like you without an Oculus on your head.

CTO Mike Schroepfer previewed the technology during his day 2 keynote at Facebook’s F8 conference. Eventually, this technology could let you bring your real world identity into VR so you’re recognizable by friends. That’s critical to VR’s potential to let us eradicate the barriers of distance and spend time in the same ‘room’ with someone on the other side of the world. These social VR experiences will fall flat without emotion that’s obscured by headsets or left out of static avatars. But if Facebook can port your facial expressions in alongside your mug, VR could elicit similar emotions to being with someone in person.

 

 

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