Talking About Realistic 3D Avatars and Future of Work with MeetinVR's CEO

What's the future of 3D avatars

In November last year, we teamed up with MeetinVR to bring Ready Player Me avatars to virtual meetings. Since then, users of MeetinVR can use their personal 3D avatars for meetings. To celebrate our collaboration, Christian-Emanuel Anton (CEO of MeetinVR) interviewed Timmu Tõke (CEO of Ready Player Me). And, of course, it happened in MeetinVR's virtual studio. Check out the interview here. You can also read the transcript here.

The bigger shift towards virtual worlds

The first topic that Christian and Timmu covered is the shift towards the virtual worlds, which got even more visible due to the pandemic. People started looking for virtual ways of spending time with their friends, families, and colleagues. For the last one, tools like MeetinVR, which offers a productivity-focused virtual reality experience, turned out to be particularly useful.

We see a bigger shift towards virtual worlds for work [...], but also in entertainment and gaming. When you look at kids these days, they hang out in virtual worlds. This is how they spend their time and form relationships.

<span class="text-style-quote-author>~ Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me</span>

Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite all have over 100M monthly players who use these games as a place for hanging out. Kids age 9-13 in the US spend more time in Roblox than YouTube and Netflix combined. They are virtual worlds natives. For them, having a virtual workspace in the future will be very natural.

Cross-platform 3D avatar creator

Because of the shift towards virtual worlds for communication, we need better ways to represent our identity.

<span class="text-style-quote-author>~ Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me<span>

There will be way more virtual world experiences in the future than just sandbox games and virtual meeting apps like MeetinVR. This raises a question – how are we going to represent ourselves in those apps and games? That’s the exact reason why we created Ready Player Me.

Our ultimate goal is to create universal virtual world identities that travel with you between different platforms. They can change their look and style depending on what you want to use them for, but your identity will be consistent.

<span class="text-style-quote-author>~ Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me</span>

You can now use your Ready Player Me avatar in over 30 different apps and games, including Mozilla Hubs, LIV, and VRChat. All you have to do is to create your avatar and import it to the app. Soon, we want to make this process even more straightforward and allow you to customize your appearance globally.

Are realistic 3D avatars the future?

There are multiple ways of approaching avatar creation. One of them is going in the non-human direction. In MeetinVR's case, they started with robots, but their potential clients didn't like them.

Companies couldn't associate with non-human avatars when we were presenting the tool to them.

<span class="text-style-quote-author>~ Christian-Emanuel Anton, CEO of MeetinVR</span>

On the other side of the spectrum, we have hyper-realistic avatars. They precisely replicate how a person looks (which is where Ready Player Me started). Those can look impressive, but without the right tracking technology to represent facial expressions, they look very offsetting.

The more towards realism you go with an avatar, the creepier it gets. The technical term for effect is the ‘uncanny valley.’

<span class="text-style-quote-author>~ Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me</span>

For the current consumer technology state, the middle ground with more cartoonish avatars is the best option. That's why we decided to go with this approach for Ready Player Me and focus on ease of use and cross-platform availability.

In MeetinVR, the implementation of our avatars is straightforward and limited to just the head and hands. It might seem weird when you watch them on a video, like in the interview itself, but it feels natural when you wear a VR headset.

You don't need more than head and hands to get non-verbal communication in VR right.

<span class="text-style-quote-author>~ Christian-Emanuel Anton, CEO of MeetinVR</span>

Future of human interaction

To close the interview, Christian and Timmu did a small brainstorming session on the future of human interaction. Timmu pointed out that we will communicate with fewer people in the real world and shift to the metaverse and virtual worlds instead. As Christian said during the interview, this can have a positive impact on our environment. Instead of using Earth's resources and producing more tech equipment, all we will need for communication, work and entertainment will be contained in a VR or AR headset.

Create your personal 3D avatar for MeetinVR

If you're looking for a virtual reality collaboration tool, you have to check out MeetinVR. It's extremely simple to use and works on both tethered and standalone VR headsets. And if you want to use your Ready Player Me avatar, all you need to do is set it up in MeetinVR's web portal.

Become a Ready Player Me Partner

Do you want to join us in the mission of building the metaverse? Become a Ready Player Me partner to integrate our avatars with your app or game.