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Roblox is launching avatar-based voice calls with facial motion tracking | TechCrunch

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At its annual developer’s conference, Roblox detailed its near-future plans to expand beyond its identity as a game platform for kids.

The company is already pushing into new demographics — Roblox announced that it would foster mature content for 17+ users earlier this year — and a new animated video calling product launching later this year looks to be part of that plan.

Part Zoom and part Memoji, users can dial up another friend who uses Roblox and start a virtual hangout in the new product, called Roblox Connect. The voice-based calls bring two avatars together in a virtual space (a dock and a campsite were examples), leveraging Roblox’s existing investments in facial motion tracking for a more present, immersive experience.

“In the near future, a person’s avatar will mirror their exact facial expressions, right down to the same blink rate,” Roblox’s CTO and CPO wrote in the announcement. Roblox Connect will launch later this year and the company will make the product available to developers, opening it up for more innovations from within its creator…



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