Facebook Introduces “Virtual Reality Emoji” Gestures

Facebook Introduces “Virtual Reality Emoji” Gestures. They are the company’s visualization for how we’ll deliver emotion in reality. It’s not about yellow demonstrated emoticons coming over your head. Instead, your avatar’s eyes, eye brows, mouth and other facial features will adjust to imitate how we display body language in the actual world.

Mark Zuckerberg also gave a live VR demo on stage at the Oculus Connect. The idea is that virtual reality places people first. It’s all about who you’re with. As soon as you’re in there, you can do anything you want together go to Mars, play games or teleport home to see your family. You have a situation where you can experience anything. You can even take a VR selfie if you see anything amazing.

He took a selfie in Virtual Reality when he came off stage:


Michael Booth, Facebook’s head of social VR, describes that,

“When you send a message and you want to make an emotional point, you stick an emoji on there.”

Facebook Introduces “Virtual Reality Emoji” Gestures

We mislay tone and physical cues when we text, so emojis developed to clarify what you really mean. Else, the recipient won’t know if you’re happy or troubled when you say “oh my.”

Also Read: Facebook Adds Reactions to Virtual Reality

Booth wanted to lessen similar sentiment uncertainty that occurs in social VR as you don’t generally see someone’s real face. The key goes far beyond the “Reactions” you can leave on 360 News Feed content to express more.

“We’re coming up with a language that triggers your avatar to make certain emotions,” aka “VR emoji”

Booth says.

If you say something appalling to a friend in VR, but their face stays totally static, it disrupts your sense of presence. We’re habituated to facial cues. Without VR emoji, your chat partner would either have to disturb you, flap their arms in a non-obvious way or wait until you’re finished. With Facebook’s VR emoji, you can shrug with your palms up, and your face will show an easily familiar expression.

Booth also revealed four of the key aims Facebook has for using avatars to make the sense of realistic human presence in social VR:

  1. “You’re comfortable with the way you appear”
  2. “Friends can identify you at a glimpse”
  3. “It’s not scary and disturbing”
  4. “Facebook can create avatars that characterize each of its 1.7 billion users”

Facebook is still testing with different ways to engrave avatars so they look more like real people. One option is an internal drawing instrument where you demonstrate a version of your face to cover onto your avatar. Another is to use an Occipital Structure sensor or other image-capture device. Facebook could possibly even try to reinvent your VR face from the photos tagged of you on its social network.

But for the time being, this is all just the next technique Facebook wants to achieve its task of connecting the world. Making friends feel nearer no matter how far they are.

Also Read: Facebook Launches Live Video Streaming Feature for Everyone

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