Meta Avatars finally have legs in Quest Home with the v57 update on the Public Test Channel.
The company's virtual avatars have faced widespread ridicule on social media and in tech media for their upper-body-only appearance.
Many third-party VR apps & games already give you virtual legs. But no shipping VR system has built-in leg tracking, so virtual legs don’t match the actual movement of your real legs when you look down. Further, there's not really a graceful way to handle the transition between sitting and standing, nor to make the legs look natural when moving around with the thumbstick.
Some people don’t mind these issues with fake virtual legs, but it feels disconcerting to others.
Meta is somewhat sidestepping these issues by only showing legs in third person, not in first person when you look down. Third person technically includes looking in virtual mirrors though, so multiple Quest owners who have the v57 PTC have noticed their legs in the mirror in Horizon Home.
The third person view of the avatar doesn't support crouching, so it stays standing up even when you're crouching or sitting down. That could lead to incorrect eye contact in social VR, and it feels particularly disconcerting in virtual mirrors.
Quest's Horizon Home is the only place legs are present in VR so far. But Horizon Worlds will also get these legs over the next few weeks, Meta told UploadVR.
The Meta Avatars SDK also hasn't yet been publicly updated though, so third party developers using it, such as GOLF+, can't yet add legs just yet.
Meta may be waiting to release the SDK update at its yearly Connect conference though, where it announces and releases many of its Quest VR features. This year it's scheduled for September 27, just under a month from now.
Last year Meta also announced its avatars would be getting a full graphics overhaul this year with a more realistic style. But there's been no word on that since, and the company said the demo it showed was made with motion capture technology, not VR.
Update August 30: added information from Meta that Horizon Worlds will also get legs over the next few weeks.