• The new update allows users to choose whether to enable the setting for all interactions.
  • With this new option, people can easily do high-five, punch, and take selfies with other avatars in Horizon Worlds.

After reports of women being groped and sexually harassed in Meta’s new VR spaces, Horizon Worlds and Venues, the company introduced a new feature, ‘Personal Boundary,’ in February to combat harassment. With this feature, the firm has given every avatar a bubble of space with a radius of two virtual feet, making it such so that no one can come within four feet of your personal space.

At that time, Meta made it so that users could not customize the feature. In response to community feedback, Meta is now updating the tool to give people more control over it. The feature has undergone updates and will now allow users to optionally turn the setting off or control when it’s enabled.

As against the earlier option to make the boundary default to on for all Horizon Worlds experiences, Meta will give users the option to choose whether or not they want the setting enabled for all interactions. VR users can turn their Personal Boundary off with the new upgrade, as was the standard before the launch of the feature.

Users will now have three options, which will allow them to decide who can get closer to your avatar. The ‘On for Non-Friends’ option is a default one. As the name suggests, this option will prevent those in the user’s friends list from getting close to the avatar.

The next is ‘On for Everyone’ and ‘Off.’ The latter option effectively returns the user’s avatar to the standard Meta enforced before introducing Personal Boundary feature. In cases where two people meet for the first time in the virtual space, the software will switch to a more restrictive setting to ensure everyone is safe.

Meta believes that the new upgrades will make it easier for people to high-five, fist-bump and take selfies with other avatars in Horizon Worlds.

Additionally, according to Meta, the Personal Boundary will default to the more restrictive setting when two people meet for the first time. For example, if one person’s Personal Boundary is off, but that of the other person’s is set to On for Everyone, the platform will create a four-foot distance between the two people. The Personal Boundary will limit everyone attending the VR Experience Horizon Venues to around four feet.

As much as things like groping have become a significant issue in VR social spaces, this update would suggest that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for helping people feel safe in virtual reality. Meta acknowledges in its latest blog post that these new options will make it easier for friends to high-five, first-bump, and take selfies while in Horizon Worlds.

While announcing the changes, Meta mentioned that developing for VR represents “what are perhaps some of the hardest challenges we’ve tackled in a generation of computing now that we’re no longer limited by fixed viewpoints and traditional flatscreen devices.”

The social media company says it will continue to make changes and improve as it learns more about how Personal Boundary impacts the VR experience.