With various companies working on harnessing the true potential of the Metaverse, it is more important than ever before to learn about this exciting new chapter in our lives. Imagine a fully immersive, universal virtual world with an emphasis on social connections where you can interact with friends, family, strangers, and more using customized metaverse avatars. Not only this, but the metaverse ecosystem also provides tons of opportunities for businesses to interact with customers and promote their businesses.
According to an analysis by Metaverse Insider, by the year 2030, the metaverse marketplace is potentially going to have over 5 billion users, and will be worth anywhere between $8 trillion to $13 trillion dollars.
The metaverse utilizes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality to create life-like impressions of the digital world. To personalize the experience, metaverse avatars have also been launched, and they are definitely one of the most critical elements of your entire experience. Statista claims that over 64 million Americans are projected to use VR in 2022.
There is a lot of work being done within this space, and the potential is limitless! Currently, individuals can even utilize gaming consoles and smartphones to explore the Metaverse.
What Is A Metaverse Avatar?
Since the Metaverse is also a ‘virtual’ world, individuals have the exciting opportunity of customizing their entire outlook within the virtual space. The option to customize clothing, facial features and body sizes is definitely one of the most exciting features that the Metaverse offers. You can choose what to wear to a ‘virtual’ concert when you’re hanging out with your friends and much more. So what is an avatar?
Metaverse avatars are physical representations of individuals in the metaverse. Most individuals make avatars look exactly like they are in real life. However, you also have the option of customizing your metaverse avatars to look like someone else.
These metaverse avatars can be made using different applications. Each application offers its own specific type of characteristics, for example, you can become a full body character creator, using extremely realistic life-like replicas, and more. It is important that you understand the different types of features that each application offers. We will be discussing some of these applications within this article!
Why Are Avatars So Important In Metaverse?
Since the virtual world revolves around user interaction, your avatar allows you to move around to explore the metaverse. Think of it as your personal presence in the online world. You will be able to use your avatar in different virtual worlds such as Decentraland. While there are not many specifics available just yet, one exciting feature is that you can pair your metaverse avatars with Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs). A lot of apparel companies have decided to create unique products for the metaverse.
For example, Nike and Adidas have both launched different products in the metaverse. Imagine wearing your favorite Nike shoes in your virtual world – and the best bit is that the design will be unique to you! NFTs offer sole ownership and different utilities to the holder.
Nike’s new NFT collection, called CryptoKicks, is being auctioned on OpenSea, a renowned NFT marketplace. Some NFTs have been sold in the $5000-$9000 price range, but there are also some NFTs that have been sold for over $100,000!
Depending on the type of avatars you create, for e.g., full body metaverse avatars, you can customize your entire outlook with NFTs that you’ve purchased to ensure that your online appearance resonates with your personality. With technology striving towards making the entire experience more interactive, you can also lip sync while talking. Hopefully, with the help of sensors – you’ll be able to mimic hand gestures as well eventually.
Types of Metaverse Avatars
Avatars are slowly taking over the metaverse. Thousands of users are signing up on apps to create metaverse avatars. It is now extremely important to understand these different types to get the most out of your metaverse experience.
Types of Metaverse Avatars include:
- Full Body Avatars: Although these aren’t very popular yet due to them being a very recent addition, this avatar type maps your entire body using sensors, allowing you to perform movements digitally and interact online. In the future you will be able to become full body character creator yourself.
- Leg-Less Avatars: This 3D avatar is one of the most popular ones, where the legs aren’t rendered in the digital world. This is done to eliminate the need for leg sensors and to reduce the requirements of systems to use these metaverse avatars.
- VR Avatars: Mostly popular on older systems, these metaverse avatars do not offer the option for the user to view their appearance since the user only sees from a ‘first-person’ perspective.
- 2D and 3D Avatars: The first avatar types started with 2D avatars, which were only utilized in 2D-based settings. 3D metaverse avatars offer a much more lifelike multi-angle view and also provide the option to customize skin colors, hair, body shapes, and more.
How to Create a Metaverse Avatar?
With so many options out there, it can be difficult to figure out what tools to use to bring your avatar vision to reality. Most apps offer similar features, but some offer more realistic avatars compared to others.
The process of creating metaverse avatars is extremely simple; you have to upload a photo of yourself and let AI generate a similar replica of you that you can customize. The customization options vary from app to app, which is why we’ll be discussing a few of the best types below.
To give you an idea on how to become a metaverse avatar creator, here are the steps to build your own avatar on the Bitmoji App:
Step 1: Sign Up For A Metaverse App
Step 2: Select Your Gender
Step 3: Upload a Selfie (If Required)
Step 4: Select Skin Tone
Step 5: Select Hair Color, Facial Hair and Hair Style
Step 6: Select Facial Features, Eyebrows and Nose Shape etc.
Step 7: Select Body Type
Step 8: Select Accessories – Clothing, Shoes, Sunglasses etc.
All in all, the process takes less than 5 minutes! It is extremely easy to set up.
With the popularity of the Metaverse on the rise, thousands of apps are being launched to provide users with the functionality of creating customized metaverse avatars. Each app has its pros and cons, e.g. many free apps have ads and try to upsell in-app purchases. While you don’t necessarily have to make purchases to create your own avatar, it can become quite irksome to get repeated ads while you design your own avatar.
Some of the best apps to create Metaverse Avatars include:
This metaverse avatar app offers numerous customization features that enable you to make ‘cartoon’ avatars that are very life-like. Since this app makes full-body avatars, you can customize skin tone, body shape, facial features, accessories and more. It has plenty of outfit options for you to choose from. You can either set up the metaverse avatars to look exactly like you, or you could even look like an entirely different person if you wanted to! The app is available for users on both the google play store and the app store.
This metaverse avatar app is an excellent choice for Japanese anime fans, as the full-body avatars are primarily customizable according to anime art. This is another full-body metaverse avatar creator, where you can customize your outfits, features and more. Remember, the final avatars won’t necessarily look like you – they’ll resemble anime characters.
Bemoji is a popular creator for metaverse avatars that uses AR to create realistic full-body avatars. Users can customize the appearance of the avatar to match their style or to replicate the styles of everyone around them. It has over 56000 reviews on play store and is definitely a good choice if you’re looking for an app that offers incredible customization options.
The Bitmoji app offers a seamless experience that starts with you using your camera to submit a selfie. The AI algorithm then works instantly to create a similar-looking avatar. There are over a thousand options for customization. These include body type, facial features, hair color, eye color and much more!
- VIVE Sync Avatar Creator
If you’re looking to have fun with your friends while making your avatar, this might be the app for you! Not only does it offer instant avatar creation after taking a selfie, it also offers the ability to create a chat room with your friends and get feedback on your avatar. There is a wide range of customization options, which means that you can easily choose different outfits whenever you’d like.
- Vtag: Create 3D Avatar Moments
The unique selling proposition of this app is that it allows users to create a metaverse avatar with their own voice and movements! Record a 30-second video of yourself and their AI algorithm will process everything from your gestures to your voice and create a metaverse avatar that walks and talks like you! You can customize accessories such as shirts and jeans, even sneakers.
- Ready Player Me
After creating an avatar using this app, you can download an SDK file that you can use on other applications and games to utilize your customized avatar on over 2750+ platforms. All you have to do is upload an image as a base and their app takes care of the rest. Their compatibility with Unreal Engine and Unity is a very useful feature that will allow the avatar to be used in multiple games as well.
The emphasis of this app is on avatar compatibility with NFTs. You can easily create metaverse avatars by submitting an image. There is also a very useful utility where you get an OSUVOX with every avatar implementation. Since there are only 10,000 unique avatars that are present on the Blockchain, your avatar has the exciting option of being a 1 of 10,000. If you create something incredible after customizing it, you also have the option of listing it on OpenSea as an NFT.
- Wolf 3D
Similar to Ready Player Me, this app provides an SDK and API file that allows using your customized avatar on different mobile applications. Simply start with submitting a picture to their app and the AI takes care of the rest. They claim to get an avatar ready for you in 5 seconds after you submit the picture! They also offer animations for metaverse avatars, where your avatar is interactive and can laugh, smile, frown and can also move their mouth while talking, thus creating a very interactive experience.
This app has gained a lot of popularity due to many celebrities using it recently. Justin Bieber and Rihanna were among the few to create avatars using it. Not only does this app provide a user interface to create avatars, but they have also teamed up with different brands to offer digital assets. Users of this app can customize their avatars with accessories and sell them as NFTs if needed.
What Features Should You Look For When Creating Your Avatar
All of the tools listed above offer various options to create avatars. While most of them offer similar customization options, one important feature that users should be on the lookout for is usability on different platforms. Not all apps provide the ability for metaverse avatars to be used across different games and platforms, but apps such as Ready Player Me and Wolf 3D provide downloadable SDKs and APIs to integrate with different platforms.
Here are some of the other things that you should consider when finalizing your metaverse avatar app:
- Interoperability: Ability for metaverse avatars to move freely across different virtual worlds. Many apps provide avatars that can only be utilized on social media or in a single virtual world. If you’re taking out the time to create your avatar, your time is best utilized by creating an avatar that allows you access across various online worlds.
- Compatibility with NFTs: A metaverse avatar is of no use if your NFTs cannot be used alongside it. Remember, not all metaverse avatar applications offer this option, which is why it is extremely important to remember.
- Customization Options: Since there are a lot of apps out there, you should look for an app that offers the most realistic avatar. The entire goal of the metaverse is to be a real-life version of this universe. Having customization options such as facial features, clothing, accessories, etc., allows users to create almost lifelike versions of themselves.
Metaverse Avatars and Brands
The metaverse offers limitless opportunities for brands to interact with their customers and sell their products. Even though the concept of the metaverse is fairly new, a lot of different well-renowned brands have started working on their digital presence in the metaverse.
For example, Nike created a metaverse called ‘Nikeland’ within Roblox, with the brand emphasizing that it is a place where their customers can play sports and also make purchases!
Zara, the popular fashion brand has also taken a step towards digitalizing its product offering. Their team aims to ensure that individuals can have a seamless shopping experience both online and offline. Their digital products are extremely popular, and like any successful brand, their iconic black, yellow, orange and navy blue palettes are creating tremendous waves in the digital marketplace.
Gucci, as part of their 100th birthday bash, hosted a “virtual gala” where they showcased their digital product and set them up for sale. This was hosted within Roblox and the individuals who purchased these rare items were able to sell them off later for much higher prices!
Adidas adopted a different strategy as compared to their competitor Nike and created “Into the Metaverse”. This campaign was aimed at announcing Adidas’s arrival in the metaverse, where they partnered with high-profile NFT brands such as Punks Comic, GMoney and Bored Ape Yacht Club. The exclusive items can easily be adorned within the digital marketplace. Only a limited version of the NFTs was sold, i.e. around 30,000.
What Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your Avatar
As mentioned in a few sections above, it is important to remember the utility of your avatar, once you’re setting it up. Creating an Avatar that you can only use as a social media picture will be a waste of your time. Once you’re creating your avatar, ensure that it can be used across different virtual worlds.
Remember, your avatar isn’t exclusive to you unless you’re using something like OSUVOX – that allows you to create a 1 of 10,000.
Future of Metaverse Avatars
At the moment, modern research has enabled us to create full-body avatars. Eventually, the goal is to utilize sensors to allow users to control each aspect of their avatar – facial features such as smiling, physical features such as grabbing things and more, all while also getting the sensation of touch and smells. This would enable individuals to be completely immersed in the avatar’s experience. Imagine hugging a family member in the virtual world, while they’re across the world in some other location. Location will not be a constraint anymore, as you can move around the metaverse as you please.
With Facebook rebranding itself as Meta and announcing its vision of creating the metaverse and harnessing its potential, the prospect of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse seems more achievable than ever before. Meta is now utilizing VR and AR to enhance the user experience, keeping in mind their belief in borderless connections.
We hope this article has helped you understand the uses, benefits and how to create your metaverse avatars. The future of the metaverse is very exciting, and since it’s an evolving process, the possibilities are beyond our wildest imaginations. With more and more brands stepping into the metaverse to cement their position, it has become increasingly important for businesses to fully leverage the potential that this exciting digital marketplace offers.