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Roblox Announces Roblox Connect: Innovative Video Chat Feature

On Friday at its Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) 2023, Roblox announced its forthcoming video chat feature, Roblox Connect. This feature, set to launch later this year, enables users to engage in conversations through their Roblox avatars, with the added ability for these avatars to mimic real-life facial expressions. Moreover, these calls will occur within shared virtual environments, offering interactive spaces reminiscent of a campsite or a dock.

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Roblox, originally designed as a social application, facilitates communication through text and voice chats while users explore various virtual realms with their friends. Consequently, the introduction of a video-focused feature like Roblox Connect aligns with the platform’s overarching mission to foster connections and conversations. This addition also provides a convenient forum for showcasing Roblox’s recently launched facial animation technology. One can envision Roblox Connect becoming the preferred method for conducting interviews within Roblox’s in-app career center, particularly when combined with their plan to introduce support for real names.

Interestingly, Roblox intends to open source Roblox Connect, a decision shared by Roblox’s Chief Product Officer, Manuel Bronstein, and Chief Technology Officer, Daniel Sturman, in a blog post. This open-source approach may pave the way for other developers to incorporate their unique innovations into Roblox Connect in the future.

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I’m somewhat hesitant about my adoption of Roblox Connect. Video calls can already be challenging without the added concern of how my virtual avatar appears. Nevertheless, with emerging tools like Roblox Connect and Google’s AI-driven enhancements to Meet, perhaps my initial assertion that the video call revolution is obsolete was premature.

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