Roblox has announced the release of Spatial Voice to select members of its developer community. The company aims to work with the community to evolve the Spatial Voice feature and make it more realistic, safe, and easy for developers to integrate into their experiences. Creators can develop experiences where users can communicate with one another more realistically. The goal is to mimic real-world communication and bring it into the metaverse.
What is Spatial Voice?
According to Roblox, “we envision that you will be able to communicate with others in the experience in the same way you speak with someone at the park. Simultaneously, you will be able to have conversations with friends elsewhere on the platform. For instance, you may have a three-way conversation with someone next to you in an experience and with another friend on the bus on their way home in the real world.
Those dialogues will be able to continue uninterrupted as you move from experience to experience or as your conversation partners come and go from the experience you are in. You will also be able to seamlessly shift between modes of communication, from text, to voice, to video, to immersive. In fact, different participants in the conversation may choose the most convenient mode of communication depending on their context.”
Communication plays an integral part in Roblox’s success as a platform, and Spatial Voice is one of the many things the company has lined up. A recent episode of Roblox Tech Talks takes a deep dive with Kiran Bhat and David Baszucki of Roblox Corporation into innovating Roblox’s Avatar and facial animation system and making it metaverse ready.
Roblox’s Avatar system allows players to express their identity in a virtual world, or what Roblox likes to call the metaverse. It’s one of the many unique features of the platform and one way that users can show their creativity and define themselves in the millions of user-created experiences. With the current system, there are already tons of style possibilities between the combinations of all of the items in the Avatar Shop.
The technology behind the Roblox Avatar has come a long way in its ten years, and it’s aiming to cater to its millions of users in innovative new ways. Avatars were initially six blocky pieces with basic textures and a simple face—there were no animations in the beginning. Since then, many more features like accessories, customizable clothing, and emotes have become available. Still, Roblox aims to bring it to the next level for the metaverse by using machine learning.
Facial Expressions and Voice Tracking
Right now, heads and faces in Roblox are more or less static images. While there are tons of customization options available, almost to the point where no two players look alike, Roblox Avatars will soon have an infinite number of combinatorial possibilities.
The ability to have facial expressions will likely be the first big change we’ll see to Avatars, and using technology to track facial expressions and microexpressions is not out of the question. Roblox will also introduce things like voice tracking and more cosmetic categories like tattoos and makeup.
Bhat wants the mannerisms and expressions that make each person unique in real life to shine through in Roblox’s avatars. It’s a vision the team shares and wants to make a reality. Expressing oneself in the metaverse through movement is one of the many things we look forward to seeing Roblox develop and incorporate in their game.
Roblox continues to develop its medium for creators to build new experiences for people to come together from all over the globe to express themselves in creative and unique ways. Spatial Voice is just the beginning. The Roblox platform’s ability to bring people together and share experiences is becoming more valuable and necessary in an increasingly more digital age.