In the VR future, less is more.
Though video games and the like have people used to extremely complicated avatars, Google’s VR engineers are seeing how much they can strip down the digital representations without making people confused.
Engineer Rob Jagnow—who is working on the Daydream VR platform—writes that avatars can “be simplified to just a floating head with googly eyes and still convey a surprising degree of emotion, intent, and number of social cues.” Large eyes combined with floating hands that signify location and a voice that signals attention seems to be the bare minimum to show presence.
Concept videos show the disembodied eyes and hands celebrating and collaborating to play puzzles. Now we gotta be careful to remember that even if our avatars are tiny, our real bodies are not, lest virtual reality makes fools of us all.