The parent company of Facebook, Meta has added a new feature called Personal Boundary in its Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues As you can guess from the name, avatars within both virtual reality spaces can now have a set distance of personal space that will be off-limits to others.
Through the new feature, each avatar now has a boundary of two virtual feet which makes it impossible for users to come within more than four feet of each other. Users will not feel any haptic feedback when someone tries to breach their Personal Boundary as the feature will stop the intruders from moving forward.
In general, the new feature was built upon an existing anti-harassment feature that made avatars’ hands disappear when they violate someone’s boundary. Personal Boundary is turned on by default and can’t be disabled by users while Meta also said it’s also working on letting users customise the size of their boundary in the future.
However, high-fives and fist bumps are still allowed but it requires users to extend their arms in Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues. Nevertheless, the feature seems to be a necessary measure especially after a metaverse researcher recently published a blog post detailing how she had been sexually harassed and virtually gang-raped in Horizon Venues.