This Friday, Meta has announced a ‘Personal Boundary’ feature for Horizon Worlds, a comprehensive VR social platform, and Horizon Venues, which focuses on virtual events. They are the early iterations of metaverse-like spaces. Reuters reported that concerns have mounted about user safety and sexual harassment in the Metaverse, therefore to maintain personal space boundaries, Meta took this decision.

By default, the feature will look like a distance of almost four feet between your virtual avatar and others when accessing the immersive Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues apps via VR headsets. The company said in the blog post that this new default setting would make it simpler to prevent undesirable interactions.

As we all know, Facebook Inc changed its name to Meta and invested heavily in VR and AR technology to signify its new bet on the Metaverse. An innovative idea of a network of virtual environments accessed through different devices where users can work, socialize and play. The user’s safety in Metaverse is the prime concern, and adding this feature can be a significant breakthrough.

“Gradually, we will continue to strive for enhancements while we learn how to influence the experiences of people,” said Vivek Sharma, Vice President of the Horizon.

How does the ‘Personal Boundary’ feature works?

Vivek Sharma shared, “A Personal Boundary feature prevents anybody from invading the personal space of your virtual avatar. If anyone attempts to enter your Personal Boundary, the system will stop them from moving forward as they touch the borderline.”

He said the new tool develops on existing “hand harassment measures,” in which the hands of the avatars become disappear if someone’s personal virtual space is invaded. It also has a “Safe Zone” feature to trigger a bubble around their avatar if they suspect endangered. Sharma believes that this will help establish behavioral standards, which are essential in a relatively new medium like Virtual reality.

“Soon, we will consider adding  new advanced controls and UI changes that will allow the users to customize the size of their ‘Personal Boundary.’ But, for now, the users will have to spread their arms to be able to greet or say hello to the avatars of other people.” he informed. After an extended beta testing period, meta rolled out Horizon Worlds to the public.

Vivek Sharma shared, “Virtual reality is for everybody. And we’re continuously working to improve people’s experience in VR, collecting feedback from the community to inform our work as we continue to iterate and make enhancements.”

“Virtual reality has got the huge potential to help users interact with each other more firmly and securely, and Personal Boundary is a perfect example for it. This is a fundamental step, and there is still a lot of work to be done. We will keep on testing and exploring innovative techniques to help people feel comfortable in a Virtual Environment”.

Indeed, this change has arrived to engage more users and make the future space accessible and secure. It may become a breakthrough for the security optimization of Metaverse.