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Meta Rolls Out Personal Boundary to VR Avatars to Stop Sexual Harassment

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Metaverse may also see sexual harassment from people via their virtual avatars. The social network has now unveiled a ‘personal boundary’ that prevents avatars from coming within a set distance of each other, making it easier to avoid unwanted interactions.

Meta has announced a ‘Personal Boundary’ feature for Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues virtual reality (VR) systems.

The feature will, by default, make it feel like there is an almost four-foot distance between your avatar and others.

“Over time, we’ll continue to make improvements as we learn how this affects people’s experiences,” said Vivek Sharma, Vice President, Horizon.

If someone tries to enter your Personal Boundary, the system will halt their forward movement as they reach the boundary.

“You won’t feel it — there is no haptic feedback. This builds upon our existing hand harassment measures that were already in place, where an avatar’s hands would disappear if they encroached upon someone’s personal space,” Sharma said in a blog post late on Friday.

Sharma thinks this will help set behavioral norms — which is important for a relatively new medium like VR.

“In the future, we’ll explore the possibility of adding in new controls and UI changes, like letting people customise the size of their Personal Boundary,” he informed.

Meta rolled out Horizon Worlds to the public following a long period of beta testing.

One beta user had complained that her avatar had been groped by a stranger.


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