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Apple brings Spatial Persona avatars to Vision Pro to help you feel less alone

Creepy Personas can now be in your home.

Apple

Apple is making the Vision Pro a bit more social with the introduction of Spatial Personas, which breaks those avatars out of their restricted windows and plops them right next to you in virtual space. The goal is to make collaborating and hanging out feel more natural in the Vision Pro — you can work on presentations together, watch movies over SharePlay, or play games as if your friends are right beside you. The feature works with up to five participants, and it'll be available today for everyone with a Vision Pro running visionOS 1.1 or later.

Meta has tackled virtual collaboration similarly with Horizon Workrooms, but Apple's implementation reminds me more of Microsoft Mesh, which let me interact with virtual companions in AR using the HoloLens 2. Like the Vision Pro itself, Spatial Personas seem a bit more refined than Microsoft's 2021-era technology. You can enable or disable them at will from a FaceTime call, and Apple says everyone will be able to adjust content how they like, without affecting how their virtual companions will see it.

While I found Apple's Personas to be a bit creepy and robotic during my Vision Pro review, the company has steadily improved them to better capture different facial expressions and hairstyles. When they're stuck in a FaceTime window, Personas are a sub-par replacement for actually seeing your friends faces. But they may be more useful if they can make it seem like your remote friends are actually sitting beside you.