Facebook’s working on photorealistic VR avatars and they’re kinda creepy

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Y'all want to see each other's faces in VR?
Y’all want to see each other’s faces in VR?

Image: screenshot: facebook

Facebook has big plans for blurring reality and virtual reality.

During its F8 Day 2 keynote, the company said it’s working on creating photorealistic VR avatars that look just like you IRL. And well… they’re kind of creepy.

Currently, Facebook’s VR avatars, available in Facebook Spaces, look like cartoons. Despite improving its cheesy-looking VR avatars with greater detail and better face and mouth-tracking for more realistic expressions, the cartoony designs are a turn-off for some people. Our very own tech reporter Rachel Kraus is not about the cartoony looks.

Who can forget how incredibly corny it was when Facebook announced taking VR selfies? Instead of a portrait of your real face, your selfie is of your cartoon avatar. 

Here’s how Facebook’s VR avatars have evolved over the years:

VR avatars have come a long way.

VR avatars have come a long way.

And here’s what they look like compared to their users:

Current Facebook VR avatars are anything but realistic.

Current Facebook VR avatars are anything but realistic.

Though Facebook didn’t get into any of the nitty gritty details on how it’s making avatars more realistic, we can see there’s some kind of motion capture technology mapping faces as evidenced by all the little capture points on a VR user’s face.

Cool or creepy?

Cool or creepy?

Facebook’s photorealistic VR avatars will make presence feel that much more real in the virtual world, but at what point is too real for its own good? We only got a glimpse of the realistic avatars, but they’re eerily close to the uncanny valley.

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