VR Social Platform VRChat Adds Face Tracking For Avatars

Use a drum pad to control your ears, change outfits when you receive a Twitch donation, and more using Avatar OSC.

VRChat, widely known as the Wild West of the metaverse, today announced the beta launch of a new feature called Avatar OSC that allows you to control your in-game avatar in unique new ways. The originalOpen Sound Control protocol was developed back in 2002 as a way to connect audio devices and controllers for musical performances. Since then developers have utilized the technology for a wide range of other purposes thanks to its flexibility and accuracy.

Originally teased during VRChat’s 2021 Developer Stream, Avatar OSC takes advantage of the protocol’s capabilities to allow for new and interesting avatar controls powered by a wide variety of inputs. According to VRChat, developers can use a drum pad to control an avatar’s ears, manipulate eyebrows using a smartphone’s gyroscope, change the color of clothing whenever a Twitch donation is received, employ commercial eye and face tracking technology for enhanced expressions, and more.

“In VRChat, we’re initially enabling OSC for the standard user control inputs (such as movement and navigation), and also as a feature of Avatar 3.0. OSC data can be both sent and received between compatible software on the same network,” said VRChat in an official blog post. “We plan on expanding this functionality in later updates, including OSC in worlds via Udon!”

Avatar OSC is currently available to the public as part of an ongoing Open Beta. Developers interested in learning more can check out the documentation here. You can find discussions regarding the protocol here and on the official Discord. Just look for the #open-beta-info channel.

In addition to Avatar OSC, this latest update introduces Tunneling, a new comfort vignette setting designed for more sensitive users.

This past December, the company teased Avatar Dynamics, a highly-anticipated update that promises to introduce a suite of new avatar interactions to the ever-growing social VR platform. This includes everything from PhysBones and Avatar Triggers to Debug View and a refined Permissions System. In yesterday’s blog update, VRChat said that Avatars Dynamics will arrive, “uh, soon…”

For more information, check out the full blog update here.

Feature Image Credit: VRChat

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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