September 29, 2023

Roblox Corporation announced at the Roblox Developer Conference in San Francisco that it is launching a new feature, named Roblox Connect, aimed at enhancing the way friends communicate within the platform. This forthcoming feature will join existing communication methods such as text chat and voice chat for players over the age of 13 in the U.S. Just last month, Roblox also added the capability for users over 13 to animate their avatars using facial expressions through the camera on their device.

Roblox Connect aims to offer an additional layer of interaction by enabling friends to call each other using their real names and facial expressions. Users will find themselves in shared immersive spaces within Roblox, such as beside a campfire or a waterfall, while conversing. The technology behind Roblox Connect essentially simulates a motion capture studio, converting real-time movement and expressions captured through a device’s camera into the virtual experience, all without requiring additional equipment or motion-tracking dots.

Notably, Roblox plans to make Roblox Connect an open-source feature, built solely using public platform APIs. By offering this new feature to its wide range of creators, Roblox Corporation anticipates a range of new communication experiences to emerge, even though the company states that it cannot foresee all the possible applications of this new functionality.

For example, the company outlined a few potential scenarios to illustrate the capabilities of Roblox Connect. In one case, someone residing in San Francisco could connect with a friend in London through Roblox and together explore New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in real-time within the Roblox environment. This would allow both individuals to share their thoughts on art exhibitions and witness each other’s reactions.

In another example, a father and his adult son, who now resides in a different part of the country, could use Roblox Connect to meet virtually on a dock beside a lake. In this shared experience, the son could see his father’s avatar emote and hear his real laughter, adding a new level of nuance to their interaction.

Roblox Connect is slated to launch later this year and aims to bring an added dimension of communication to the platform, expanding beyond the existing chat functions and recent introduction of avatar animations. This move represents Roblox Corporation’s continuous effort to innovate the ways in which its community of creators and users can interact within the digital realm.

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