oblox Expands Beyond Gaming with New Interactive Feature
Roblox, the popular gaming platform, has announced plans to broaden its horizons at its annual developer’s conference. While originally known as a game platform for kids, the company is diversifying its offerings. Earlier this year, Roblox revealed its intention to introduce mature content for users aged 17 and above. Now, the company is gearing up to launch a new animated video calling product known as “Roblox Connect.”
Roblox Connect: A Blend of Virtual Hangouts and Facial Motion Tracking
Roblox Connect is set to launch later this year and is designed to facilitate virtual hangouts between users. It combines elements of Zoom and Memoji, allowing friends on the platform to engage in voice-based calls using their avatars. These avatars are placed in a virtual space, which could range from a tranquil dock to a campsite. The key innovation here is the integration of Roblox’s existing facial motion tracking technology to create a more immersive experience.
Roblox’s Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer noted, “In the near future, a person’s avatar will mirror their exact facial expressions, right down to the same blink rate.” The company also plans to make Roblox Connect available to developers, encouraging further innovations from its creator community.
Advancements in Avatar Realism and Motion Mapping
Roblox has its sights set on enhancing the realism of its avatars in the future. This may involve introducing more realistic movements, including motion mapping for hand gestures and upper body motion. The company intends to make these additions widely accessible, even on basic consumer hardware capable of running Roblox.
The announcement states, “Behind the scenes, we’re essentially packaging a Hollywood-style motion capture studio into something that runs on a mobile phone or laptop—without the need for equipment or motion-tracking dots. The device’s camera is all that’s needed to capture motion and translate it in real time.”
Roblox’s Cross-Platform Approach Continues
Roblox is known for its cross-platform approach, making the app readily available and user-friendly across various devices. In line with this strategy, the company announced that Roblox will soon be accessible on both the PS4 and PS5, starting next month. This move aligns Roblox with competitors like Epic Games, creator of Fortnite, and ensures that the platform is accessible to a broader audience.
While the adoption of avatars to express emotions during voice chat has been somewhat limited in the past, Roblox believes that its dedicated community may embrace these new ways of connecting. The company’s commitment to expanding its offerings and enhancing user experiences demonstrates its determination to remain a dynamic and evolving platform in the world of online entertainment.