Meta may eventually provide the option to deactivate your first person avatar on Quest.

    Meta is working on a way to disable the first-person avatar. About a year after the deployment of this contentious feature.

    When you put on the Quest headset last December, you were surprised to find yourself in the body of your own cartoon avatar, complete with a cartoon torso and arms. A contemporary retelling of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, with Gregor Samsa waking up in the body of a Simpsons character. “Where the hell can I turn this off?” was the uniform internet response.

    The capability was implemented with the v47 system upgrade in late November 2022. Although no one had requested it, Meta believed the modification was a good one.

    Unpleasant side effects

    The first-person avatar can be annoying because Quest merely guesses and does not track the location of the torso and arms. It can be an unpleasant experience if this estimate and the real situation are substantially different. And there are a few glitches here and there, at least for me. If the tracking fails, I gain Slenderman-like arms or see my headless body floating in front of me. It’s a horror show.

    The position of the torso and arms will become more accurate in the future, at least on Quest 3, as the headset will soon include integrated upper body tracking. This, however, does not solve the problem of associating with your cartoon avatar.

    Transparent hands before the update. | Image: Meta

    Before the upgrade, your avatar was invisible, and when hand tracking was enabled, your hands appeared as ghostly outlines. Meta now wants users to be able to return to this view and disable the first-person avatar.

    An option to turn off the first-person avatar is in the works

    As Twitter user Luna demonstrates with a screenshot, the PTC version of the v59 upgrade offers a matching option. “When using your headset, your avatar’s hands and arms will be displayed instead of transparent hands.” This will have no effect on how your avatar appears in your Mirror or to others,” according to the description.

    Because the v59 version has been out for a week and Meta doesn’t mention it in the release notes, it’s reasonable to presume it’s been moved to a later update. Perhaps it will be released in November. It’s been approximately a year since this feature was released, which demonstrates how long it took Meta to respond.

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