Facebook’s new 3D Video Chat Project Features VR Avatar Technology

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Facebook has not given up on virtual reality as of yet. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some. Despite the Oculus not getting the reception the company had hoped for, things are still progressing on the software side. Their new 3D video chat solution will incorporate VR technology to recreate life-like replicas of people.

Another VR Attempt by Facebook

The new 3D video chat solution by Facebook has been in development for some time now. To properly create life-like avatars, VR technology can prove to be very useful. Determining how individuals look from different viewpoints is a big challenge. Right now, it requires the use of over 150 cameras to capture one’s avatar in a proper manner. When the software works its magic, a 3D version of the user is created.

Facebook’s Yaser Sheikh adds:

“The reason is because we want to be able to understand exactly how you look from every different viewpoint. Because in virtual reality, we might move and look at you from different perspectives, and it has to look as real as you do. It’s an evolution from the telephone to video conferencing and this can be the next sort of way of actually spending time with a friend you haven’t met in 10 years. You can both sort of say, ‘let’s meet at the Eiffel Tower’ and suddenly you materialize there.”

It is evident this solution can prove to be very appealing to the right people. However, it also requires the collection of a lot of user data. There will undoubtedly be growing concerns over how this aspect will come into play. Facebook doesn’t have the best of reputation in terms of handling consumer data. With this solution capturing 180 GB of data per second, those concerns may prove to be more than justified.

It remains unclear when this new solution will come into play exactly. As the company prioritizes security over everything else, there is still a long way to go. Introducing VR-based technology on a large scale can trigger some interesting developments in the future. The technology is there to put an entirely different spin on this concept. Whether or not anyone will use it after a few months, is a different matter altogether.


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