This is something else. It is a reality that the Metaverse has been a failure until now , but perhaps it was because the most convincing way had not been found. Now we have the first really convincing demonstration of the Metaverse. A test that is still a prototype but that does allow, finally, to anticipate the possibilities of this technology .
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, had saved an ace up his sleeve for last. After several days with Meta Connect 2023 where the Meta Quest 3 and the latest developments in AI for its applications have been taught , the founder of Facebook has given an interview with the YouTuber and podcaster Lex Fridman. With one particularity: the interview is carried out entirely in virtual reality.
This Metaverse does seem real
The easiest thing is to take a look at the video directly, where Fridman and Zuckerberg have a long one-hour conversation, as is usually the case in these podcasts, with the difference that thousands of kilometers separate them and they are actually speaking “in front of each other. ” front” through photorealistic avatars .
This is the first live demonstration of Meta’s Pixel Codec Avatars project , where through virtual reality glasses they analyze the person’s face and create avatars that replicate live the gestures that the protagonists themselves make when they speak .
This process, as Zuckerberg himself explains during the interview, lasts only a few minutes. They were both wearing Quest Pros, which have facial and eye tracking. What has not been specified is whether these avatars have been rendered through the glasses themselves or through a connected external computer. The result is very fluid.
During the conversation, Fridman keeps repeating that the immersive experience is fascinating and that he feels Zuckerberg “as if he were sitting in front of him . “
The jump with what we had a little over a year ago is enormous. Those 3D avatars have absolutely nothing to do with these photorealistic avatars. Again we remember that this is a project in testing, but it already anticipates Meta’s real ambition with virtual reality.
Friedman, who had already interviewed Zuckerberg in person on at least two occasions on his podcast, even commented on this third occasion that he was beginning to “forget that you’re not real.” Some comments that seem genuine.
As described during the talk, this technology has at least three years to go before it can be commercialized. For the first time with Metaverse and Meta themes, we have a fairly clear demonstration of what they intend to achieve.