Meta Updates Horizon Worlds Ahead of Connect 2023

Meta adds Legs to Horizon Worlds as the firm also develops an accompanying mobile Metaverse service

Meta Updates Horizon Worlds Ahead of Connect 2023
Mixed RealityLatest News

Published: September 4, 2023


Rory Greener

Meta’s annual Connect event is coming up later this month, where the firm is showcasing its latest XR products and software. During the event, Meta will reveal more information regarding its Quest 3 MR headset and Horizon Metaverse platform.

Meta heavily pushed the debut of its Metaverse service for consumers, enterprises, and live events at last year’s Connect event. Over the following 12 months, the Metaverse service struggled to maintain a significant user base.

However, the Menlo Park-based firm appears to be ramping up its Horizon service leading into Connect 2023. Recently, Meta released two updates to Horizon Worlds, improving avatars and interoperability.

Improved Avatars: Legs are Coming to Horizon

In late August, Meta released its, via its Public Testing Channel, Quest v57 update, where the firm notably introduced legs to Quest Home environments.

Meta famously introduced legs as Horizon Worlds feature last year. However, Meta took some time to introduce the feature – instead putting its efforts towards debuting the Quest 3.

The update allows Quest operators to see their avatar legs in the third person, such as looking in a mirror in the Quest Home environment. However, users are noting that the legs do not support couching or sitting, causing some disorientation.

The v57 SDK is not ready for general release, so third-party developers can’t include legs into Quest applications yet. Moreover, Meta may enhance the feature as it heads towards Connect 2023.

Meta to Debut Horizon World Mobile App

Meta is also releasing a mobile version of the Horizon Worlds service – currently, the application is approaching the Beta testing stages.

Horizon Mobile does not have a release date yet. Although Meta has worked on the mobile service for the past year, the firm is not yet satisfied with the application, which delayed its original distribution forecast.

Meta’s Vice President of Metaverse Vishal Shah explained the Menlo Park-based firm did not initially ship the service because it was a “little bit too much of a VR game on mobile as opposed to a mobile-native experience.”

Meta is expanding the user base of Horion via device interoperability, reaching a broader spectrum of devices that boost end-user and consumer adoption of the service. The Menlo Park-based firm is debuting Ouro Interactive, a production studio Meta established to support Horizon VR experiences and content for headsets and mobile.

Shah remarked that Meta’s Ouro Interactive focuses on creating first-party VR gaming experiences, such as Super Rumble, that leverage the Horizon Metaverse SDK, representing the “next generation” of the firm’s Metaverse service.

Shah also added:

As consumers come to Horizon, we want to make sure there’s a bunch of compelling content that they can find on day one. We’re going to seed the ecosystem, bootstrap it with stuff that we build both in-house, but also with some studios that we’re working with.

Meta remains focused on providing an XR UCG ecosystem and a next-generation MR headset to go alongside it, with Shah also noting that Meta’s “long-term vision remains the same.”

The VP explained that Horizon would be a “UGC-powered ecosystem, built by creators,” promoting a self-serving platform promoting content growth and user scalability. Meanwhile, Meta is working on integrated AI solutions to assist with lowering the entry barrier for budding Metaverse developers.

Shah said that Ouro Interactive and Super Rumble marks “resetting the bar” of a great Horizon experience and taking a “meaningful step” towards a positive Horizon future.

Meta Connect 2023

Speaking of Horizon Worlds, Meta is once again partially hosting its Connect showcase event on the Metaverse platform. Meta Connect, September 27 – 28, 2023, is a virtual showcase for users to watch via Facebook and Horizon Worlds.

The Menlo Park-based firm will also host part of the event in person at its HQ, allowing audiences to get hands-on with their immersive portfolio – including the Quest portfolio, Ray-Ban Stories, Avatars, and Horizon Worlds. Meta will reveal more details concerning the event as the date comes closer.

Meta will provide attendees with an in-depth look at upcoming Meta XR products, Horizon Worlds’ metaverse developments, emerging AI innovations, and hands-on opportunities for the company’s forthcoming immersive product portfolio. Additionally, the event will host sessions, allowing attendees to learn from Meta’s community of developers, builders, and creators.

Meta Connect day one will start with a keynote with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a “Developer State of the Union.” Historically, these sessions hosted ground-breaking news, such as the firm’s rebranding.

Day two will feature developer sessions and product sneak peeks – most likely showing off the upcoming Meta Quest 3 MR device.

Meta’s MR product looks to compete with other MR products from firms such as Apple, Varjo, HTC Vive, Nreal, Samsung, and Google. The Menlo Park-based firm looks to get ahead of the pack with its competitive Quest 3 features, including Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ chipset, 128GB of storage, 2 hours of battery life, room for prescription glasses, hand-tracking, eye-tracking, and a 100-degree FOV.

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