Roblox, an online gaming platform where people can play games or create them, has 52.2 million daily users. The company’s original demographic was minors, but in recent years it has become a popular destination for teens and young adults, and more than half of its users are now over the age of 13. The rich, diverse virtual worlds created on the site have been seen as precursors to what we can see and experience in the metaverse, with opportunities to connect with others and personalized avatars. that players can use in games.
The update is similar to Apple iPhone’s Bitmoji, using a depth sensor to measure and track head and face movements. The previous avatar on Roblox is available expressionbut Bjorn Book-Larsson, vice president of product and avatars at Roblox, describes them as “two-way”.
The Roblox update means users can smile, wink, or wrinkle their foreheads, and their avatars will mimic them in real time. Eyes can scan, head can shake, eyebrows and ears can wiggle with the same result. And soon, Roblox said, users will be able to talk directly to other avatars like in other multiplayer video games. In short, the changes could blend our real-world human experience with that of the metaverse and make avatars more like ourselves — for better or for worse.
Until early 2023, these updates will be kept in a close circle of users and creators, which Book-Larsson says is meant to maintain “reliability and security.” “We expect the unexpected,” he said. Part of that delay was due to the fact that Roblox’s safety team was able to ensure that expressions were deployed safely within the huge demographic of minor users. For example, says Book-Larsson, an option for facial expressions — tongue sticking out — was dropped because of possible sexual abuse.