Products Jan 26, 2022

ZEGO Avatar, an Indispensable Key Piece of the Metaverse Puzzle!

Real estate in the metaverse is booming.

In November 2021, The Sandbox, a blockchain-based gaming platform and virtual world where users can own and trade virtual properties, raised $93 million in a funding round led by SoftBank, which had drawn more companies and individuals to look at and participate in the virtual real estate businesses.

Many brands, entrepreneurs, and celebrities like Snoop Dogg have already bought their virtual real estate properties in the virtual worlds such as The Sandbox, Decentraland, and others.

After users bought these NFT-based virtual real estate properties, they also decorated them with NFT-based digital art items and collections, creating all sorts of unique and cool scenes in the virtual world.

According to data from Dapprader, platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox saw unprecedented traffic and transactions in Nov 2021, with a total virtual land transaction amount of $228 million, increased by 688% as compared to the previous month.

Although a fully connected and open virtual world is not yet ready, the 3D experience The Sandbox provides is already very close to that offered by 3D online games.

In terms of user experience, the metaverse still feels not very "real"

No doubt, the participation of capitals, brands, celebrities is bringing additional value to the virtual world. But in terms of user experience, there are still a lot of things that need to be done to give users a more immersive experience in the virtual world—having a life-like avatar that can reproduce the user's expression is one of the essential prerequisites.

The Sandbox map, with many properties already sold.

Currently, a character creation technology commonly used by platforms like The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Honnverse is to let users create their avatar by combining an array of prebuilt basic avatar elements, such as facial features body parts of different shapes/sizes/colors, as well as dresses and accessories.

Using such an approach does allow them to match the look and feel of the avatars with the overall style of visual expression, creating a harmonious and unified visual experience in their platform. However, people demand a more life-like and immersive experience and want to create a very unique representation of themselves in the virtual worlds, and prebuilt styles and elements are not enough to match the requirement.

It is worth noting that the metaverse we have currently is composed of several separated areas, and users can't go from one to another freely.

As a gamer, I can't help picturing the day when an open and fully connected metaverse becomes reality, along with the upgrade of real-time user interactions and gaming engines.

ZEGO Avatar, a key piece to build the puzzle of the future metaverse

Platforms like The Sandbox have not yet gotten rid of keyboards, mouses, and touch screens as tools of human-computer interaction, as users still need to use these devices to send out messages and emojis to express their emotions when interacting with others online.

As an essential tool for creating the future metaverse, avatars with embodied interaction features will become an important vehicle for communicating human emotions in the virtual world.

As one of our endeavors to build the future with technologies, we have independently developed and launched ZEGO Avatar, a tool that lets users create avatars with embodied interaction features based on their own face. At present, ZEGO Avatar's performance in terms of human portrait modeling, facial expression responsiveness, and real-time interactions has reached the top level in the industry.

ZEGO Avatar allows users to customize their avatars through real-time modeling of user selfies, supplemented by a comprehensive character creation system. It provides 100% facial expression responsiveness, offering a much more intuitive way to express emotions in the virtual world.

We are also creating various 3D virtual scenes, where users in their avatars can have a nice walk side-by-side with their friends, sing in a virtual karaoke room (powered by ZEGOCLOUD's real-time karaoke solution), and do many other things together.

We need continuous technology innovations to make the metaverse better. While we keep polishing our products using the currently available technologies, we are also trying to push the technology boundaries:

While wearable devices are not yet truly mature, ZEGOCLOUD is taking the plunge into voice-driven facial expressions – a technology that allows users to properly drive the facial expressions of their avatar by simply speaking, which is especially useful in in dark or over bright environments where cameras cannot capture facial movements.

Creating a smooth and refined user experience is not something that could be accomplished overnight. We will continue to make ZEGO Avatar better every day.

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ZEGOCLOUD

Building stable and high-quality cloud streaming services for real-time audio and video communications.