How you are represented in the virtual environment is a topic that is pretty dear to the hearts of many virtual reality (VR) users. It is especially important in a social setting, where it can form a first impression in social VR scenarios. Oculus Avatars were originally rolled out for the Oculus Rift before being ported to the Samsung Gear VR, but now their reach is extending even further.
Oculus have announced in a blog post that Oculus Avatars will be going cross-platform, allowing a user’s Oculus Avatar to follow them to any platform.
With the release of SDK 1.28, support is being rolled out for cross-platform Avatars on PC, with an included Unity sample and an updated SDL license. Oculus says this will allow developers to implement a unified avatar system with multiplayer experiences while reducing both costs and development times.
The Oculus Avatar app has been prepared to work right out of the box, and the SDK has gone through updates so it can support querying the user’s avatar from any platform.
This means that apps running on the HTC Vive or Windows Mixed Reality devices will also be able to use Oculus Avatars, giving users the chance to have a unified virtual identity across multiple videogames and applications that use the SDK, rather than having to create a new character each time.
According to the blog post, this initial release allows the Avatar for any Oculus user to be queries from any app that uses the SDK. The Oculus blog post also says: “We’re in the early stages of building out richer avatar support for non-Oculus users, but to provide some choices for non-Oculus users we’ve created 12 default avatars (included in the Unity sample) that can be provided as options to anyone without an existing avatar.”
According to Oculus, this is just the first step in supporting developers across multiple platforms. As always, VRFocus will be there to bring you the latest developments in this area.