Meta Quest 3 Set to Revolutionise VR with Body-Tracking Upgrade

Meta Quest 3 is set to revolutionise VR with improved body tracking and virtual legs, enhancing immersion in virtual worlds.


If you’ve ever had to leave a VR experience because your virtual upper torso and arms didn’t match up well with your actual body, Meta has some good news for you: a forthcoming update will give the Meta Quest 3 proper body tracking.

Virtual reality avatars currently involve a lot of speculation. The headset must guess where your arms and body should be based on your head and hand movements, whatever height information you provide, and unless you’re wearing some sort of tracking suit. In general, this system seems a touch wrong, which can act as a continual reminder that the virtual environment is just that rather than aiding in immersion.

Your torso, shoulders, elbows, and wrists can be seen and tracked by the new VR headset’s downward-facing side cameras. By using these data points, along with some new algorithms, and inside-out upper-body tracking, VR experiences can produce avatars that more closely resemble your actual movements.

In a demonstration video, Meta demonstrated how this system can translate movements that Quest hardware previously struggled to follow, such as elbow strikes and bending forward or to the side (movements that could be excellent for guided workouts in VR, for example).

Sadly, not every app will initially enable inside-out upper-body monitoring. A handful will, such as Supernatural and Drunken Bar Fight, but you’ll have to wait until creators of additional VR experiences integrate the SDK upgrade into their program before you can take advantage of the enhanced avatars.

Legs at long last 

The VR legs will also benefit from this SDK update’s improvements.

Meta has been bothered by the VR legs. When it announced that Meta’s avatars would soon have legs at Meta Connect 2022, it faced some mockery. This mockery was reinforced when it was discovered that the demo it had shown off had been staged using motion-captured animation.

The Quest home app was the only place where virtual legs were available in September, and exclusively to VR beta testers. If developers allow it, it appears that the next Meta Quest 3 update will make the appendages available to more people and a larger range of apps.

However, it’s important to note that instead of being physically tracked, your VR legs will be generated by AI. Based on demonstration videos, the AI appears to get the leg movements mostly right; however, it won’t recognize when, for example, you lift a knee. Instead, it will recognize whether you squat, leap, or perform a boxer bounce. Therefore, it won’t be feasible to replicate the jump-knee tuck maneuver Zuckerberg demonstrated during the Meta Connect 2022 demo in VR just yet.

In the upcoming year, Meta will likely evolve its legs thanks to advancements in tracking and AI, but for the time being, we’ll have to get by with what we have.

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