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Facebook VR venture could include realistic avatars, Zuckerberg says

On top of plans for smart glasses, Facebook is talking about realistic avatars.

A man wearing an Oculus headset.
Facebook elaborated on its VR plans during a podcast interview with The Information. 
Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook's exploration into virtual reality could soon include more realistic avatars. During a podcast interview with The Information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave more details about the social media company's plans to explore virtual and augmented reality with the Oculus VR device. 

Zuckerberg said realistic avatars could be a step up from calling someone on the phone or video chatting. His idea of avatars includes "authentic eye contact" and displaying the user's personality. 

"You'll actually be able to interact with them," Zuckerberg told The Information. "You'll be able to take out games or other objects and instantiate them as virtual objects and interact and get work done and play games together and all of that."

Read more: Facebook has VR plans for your virtual office, with smart glasses coming soon

Facebook is already looking ahead to Oculus Quest 3 and 4 headsets, said Zuckerberg, with the aim of including face tracking and eye tracking in upcoming generations of the hardware. 

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the social network is working on smart glasses.

Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

"One of the things that I'm really excited about for future versions is getting eye tracking and face tracking in, because if you're really excited about social presence, you want to make sure that the device has all the sensors to really kind of animate realistic avatars so you can communicate well like that," Zuckerberg said.

In January, Facebook announced it plans to release smart glasses this year through a partnership with glasses-maker Luxottica. The glasses -- though not AR glasses -- are meant to help you stay connected and not miss moments looking at a screen or while reaching for your phone, said Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook Reality Labs, earlier this year. 

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