Amid the fluff, Meta showed an impressive demo of its Codec Avatars

Meta, formerly Facebook, presented today. It announced its rebranding, and showed what it envisions the future computing to look like. However, there were some very interesting tech demos, despite all the fluff. The first showcased its Codex avatars that look like real people and created an environment where they could live. This environment, according to the company, was animated in real time and reacts to real-world objects. Mark Zuckerberg spoke about his company's use of neural interfaces to control computers by simply moving your fingers.
We'll be talking about the demos in a moment. But it is worth taking a look at them yourself. If you prefer this interface, you can view them on the Facebook keynote archive and on the Reuters YouTube stream.

What is the metaverse? It all depends on who you ask. However, it refers to a variety of interconnected digital spaces that can be experienced in VR or through social networks, with real-time references to the physical world. It is possible to read more about it.

Meta presented the Codec Avatars it has been working on to improve users' control over their eyes and facial expressions. The company showed how its avatars' skin and hair would react to different lighting conditions. It also demonstrated how interactive clothing could be created.

It was made clear by the presenter that this technology is still in research. It is at least interesting to learn that Metas goal was to allow us to render ourselves with graphics comparable to cutting-edge videogame engines.

The company also displayed its real-time environment rendering. It said that it would eventually allow you to use your avatar for interaction with other users. People can interact with real-life objects and see the effects in the virtual world. Although realistic environments are not new, it is still very cool to be able to change them in real life and then see the results in virtual.

Metas uses electromyography (or EMG) to convert the brain signals sent to it into computer commands. The wristband it uses for this was shown off earlier this year. Although the demo Meta presented today didn't show much of what it had in 2019, when it acquired CTRL-Labs, it is still encouraging to see the progress being made.

Meta stated that it is pursuing EMG input rather than brain-reading devices. This could have been to show off how you interact with future devices. This was a far cry from the visions of VR ping-pong players playing for an audience of avatars. It doesn't necessarily mean that the Oculus (or Meta, apparently) Quest 3 will include an EMG wristband. However, in a seaof hype and without much substance, the demo and other actual research Meta presented was quite a treat. If you are looking for something different from the Facebook/Meta news, check them out.