High Fidelity, the open-source VR software platform, today released Virtual You: 3D Avatar Creator on the Apple App and Google Play stores. It enables people to produce a customizable avatar ready for High Fidelity in less than five minutes.
Powered by VR/AR developer Wolf3D, the free Virtual You app generates a 3D avatar from a selfie. Users can then choose from thousands of wardrobe combinations and customize every aspect of their appearance, such as hair, makeup and body shape. Virtual You avatars are sent directly to a user’s High Fidelity account and are compatible with any virtual environment that uses its open source software.
Developing Virtual You as a mobile app takes advantage of high-resolution smartphone cameras, which are needed to create recognizable avatars. Traditionally, producing a fully personalized avatar has required costly full-body scans or custom graphic design.
“One of the first things people want to do in VR is make an avatar. Helping people do that quickly and easily, using the tools they already have, sets them up for a better VR experience,” said Timmu Tõke, CEO of Wolf3D. “For events with many people new to VR, such as a large meeting or a live performance, you need a way to get participants into the virtual environment and feeling themselves quickly.”
The Virtual You app began as part of High Fidelity’s virtual office project, which is currently in development and geared to help today’s modern workforce of digital nomads be together. In a professional context, people want to be recognizable and use an avatar that represents them. Although its virtual office application is not yet available, High Fidelity is publicly releasing the app given the demand it has seen for personalized avatars in other use cases of its open source software.
“Personalized avatars allow for the best of both worlds: an interactive, identifiable presence which resembles us, but one that requires no grooming, no clothes to be ironed and always has our game face on. Decades of research has shown that avatars can display superpowers — for example the ability to maintain eye gaze via algorithm — that are impossible to achieve either face-to-face or over videoconference,” said Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab.
This sense of presence becomes especially important in virtual workspaces where teammates are physically remote from each other. Recognizable avatars make virtual communication seamless. Flag down a colleague for a quick chat or find your team in a crowded cafe, the same way you would in the real world.
“As VR begins to transform our daily lives, we will often want to easily appear in virtual worlds as we do in the physical world,” said Philip Rosedale, CEO and Co-founder of High Fidelity. “Avatars have always been a pillar of VR and virtual worlds, but unless you’re a dedicated enthusiast, creating them hasn’t been easy. By making 3D customizable avatars available through a mobile app, we’ve cleared an important step towards bringing VR to billions of people.”
About High Fidelity
High Fidelity is an open-source virtual reality software platform that helps 3D artists, developers and creators build virtual reality spaces for massive crowds or small groups that deliver an immersive human experience. These spaces link together creating a metaverse, an Internet for VR, anyone can visit. The company is also working on additional business applications for its software. High Fidelity has a distributed team across the U.S. with offices in San Francisco and Seattle and was founded by Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life. Learn more at highfidelity.com.
SOURCE High Fidelity