During the Meta Connect conference on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg made a huge announcement: avatars in the company’s Horizon VR app will soon be released. To demonstrate this groundbreaking technical feat, Zuckerberg’s digital avatar lifted each leg in the air, then took a leap, while Eigerim Schormann’s avatar kicked the air.

It may have all been for show. According to Upload VR editor Ian Hamilton, an unnamed Meta spokesperson said that “the segment contains animations created from motion capture” intended to “enable this preview of what’s to come.” To me it reads like what we saw wasn’t really a demo of what Horizon’s legs would look like, but rather an artist’s interpretation of what Horizon’s legs would look like can it ends up looking like.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. Because, really, that was easy to see. My colleague Jay Peters even cautioned that the pre-recorded video is not necessarily an accurate representation in its coverage of the message. Still, if Meta is really trying to say that its presentation didn’t include any footage of what the legs will actually look like rendered by your Quest headset, that’s a little worrying. This feature should be coming soon, but we can’t see it yet? How do I know if I should spend $1500 on Quest Pro if I can’t be sure it will let me have my virtual avatar jump on the boardroom table and dance during virtual meeting?

I guess we’ll just have to wait until the legs actually launch to see how the Meta’s AI-predicted legs compare to the real deal. For now, I guess we’ll just enjoy Zuckerberg’s awkward “demonstration” — even if all it really proved was that computers are actually capable of rendering legs in some capacity.


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