July 15, 2024

The annoying first-person avatar will likely be shut down soon

The annoying first-person avatar will likely be shut down soon

Meta wants to give you the option to turn off first person avatar. About a year after this controversial feature appeared.

Anyone who wore a Quest headset last December experienced a (shocking) surprise: they suddenly found themselves in the body of their comic avatar, with a comical torso and comical arms. A modern version of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, except Gregor Samsa wakes up in the body of a Simpsons character. The online reaction was unanimous: “Where the hell can I stop this?”

The feature was rolled out at the end of November 2022 with System Update 47. No one asked for it, but Meta still thinks the change was a good idea.

Unpleasant side effects

The first-person avatar can be annoying, as the Quest headset currently only estimates the position of the torso and arms. If this estimate and the actual situation differ significantly, it may be unpleasant. And at least for me there are errors here and there. When the tracking fails, I suddenly have arms like Slenderman or see my headless torso floating in front of me. Horror show.

At least on the Quest 3, the position of the torso and arms could be displayed more correctly in the future, as the headset will receive integrated upper body tracking in December. However, this does not eliminate the problems of recognizing one’s own comedic avatar.

The requirement to have a first-person avatar could soon be removed

Before the update, your avatar was invisible and your hands appeared as ghostly outlines if hand tracking was enabled. Meta now at least wants to allow users to return to this view and turn off the first-person avatar.

Tracked hands before first person avatar requirements. | Photo: Meta

The corresponding option has been integrated into the beta version of System Update 49, as Twitter user Luna shows with a screenshot. “Your avatar’s hands and arms will appear instead of transparent hands when using the headset. This will not affect how your avatar appears in the mirror or to others,” the description reads.

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Since System Update 49 has already been rolled out for a week and Meta didn’t mention the option in the release notes, it can be assumed that it has been delayed to a later update. Maybe that will happen in November. This will be about a year after this feature was introduced. Which once again shows how slow Meta’s UI mills work.