Meta is now adding a personal boundary system to its Horizon virtual reality experiences, intending to stop harassment in VR. The latest feature is being activated by default in the Horizon Worlds creation platform and the Horizon Venues live event service. The new personal boundary system forms an invisible virtual barrier around avatars, stopping other people from getting too close — although you can still stretch your arm out to give someone a fist-bump or high five.
Meta Adds Personal Boundary System to Prevent Harassment Attempts
The personal boundary system builds on an existing feature that could cause users’ hands to disappear if they got too close to another avatar. As defined by Meta, it offers everyone a two-foot radius of virtual personal space, forming the equivalent of four virtual feet between avatars. Meta spokesperson Kristina Milian assured that users can’t choose to disable their personal boundaries since the system is planned to establish standard norms for how people interact in VR.
Meta Will Create a Two-Foot Radius of Virtual Personal Space
However, future modifications could let people customize the size of the radius. If someone attempts to walk or teleport within your private space, their forward motion will stop. However, Milian states that you can still move past another avatar, so users can’t do things like use their bubbles to intercept entrances or trap people in virtual space. Meta’s modifications are rolling out two months after Horizon Worlds opened to the public following a long duration of beta testing.
Furthermore, during that period, at least one beta user complained that her avatar had been touched by a stranger. While the user said that eventually engaging the block feature to stop the harasser, Meta decided that she hadn’t taken full advantage of the available options and voiced a desire to make features like the block button that is trivially easy and findable.
Source: The Verge