Facebook, which goes by the name Meta, has said some pretty bold things about its plans for the Metaverse, a virtual place where people can connect, play, and work. But a new patent application filed by the company may help Metaverse users reach one of its goals.
People who play VRChat and other virtual reality games like to make their own avatars, change their clothes, and otherwise personalize their virtual selves to show who they are. Some people may like to dress up as a computer avatar that has nothing in common with them, but this new idea is meant to bring parts of the real world into the Metaverse.
The Facebook patent, which came out at the end of July, shows that the company wants to make a system that lets users upload their own clothes into the Metaverse. The device is meant to take many pictures of the user and store information about their body as well as the color, shape, and design of their clothes. Then, this information is used to make a three-dimensional mesh of the clothes and a separate one of the body.
In computer graphics, a mesh is the basic structure of a model that gives it its shape as a whole. Then, some texture maps, like normal maps, can be used to make it even better. The patent talks about making a “skin-clothing border,” which could mean that the clothes could move with the person wearing them. The border would keep the clothes from cutting into the body and breaking immersion.
It’s an interesting idea, but we’ll have to see how well it works, if at all, in real life. Other apps and games haven’t been able to make accurate 3D face scans from photos or videos, but this is changing over time. Some people might like the idea of uploading real clothes they own in real life, but it seems unlikely that the average user will go to the Metaverse to meet people who look just like them.
But that may not be how the technology was meant to be used. People have also talked about the Metaverse as a way to talk to coworkers who are far away and hang out with friends and family who live far away. In these situations, it would help and be appreciated by many to look like who you really are.
Users have already said that they were harassed in the Metaverse, and it’s not clear when it will be fully functional. Even though Meta’s virtual reality business is still losing money, it is clear that new technologies are being made that will make the Metaverse friendlier and more useful for a wide range of users.