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Apple Vision Pro becomes more social with spatial Personas

Apple Vision Pro’s Personas have gotten more realistic, with a new (beta) feature the company calls spatial Personas.

Until now, Personas — which are visual, semi-3D representations of the Vision Pro’s user — would show up in FaceTime calls made within the headset and just kinda stand there in front of you. But with spatial Personas, the avatars can actually be positioned freely in a space; so you could have several Personas chatting around a coffee table.

The feature became available with visionOS 1.1 in late March.

Spatial Personas will appear positioned differently depending on what you’re doing in the FaceTime call; if you’re watching a movie together, other participants will be lined up next to you, but if you’re playing a game with SharePlay, they’ll appear across from you. You can move them around the space freely by pinching and dragging, though.

Some folks got the chance to try the feature out ahead of release. Inverse’s Ray Wong noted that the spatial Personas feel a lot more lifelike, with the ability sit down or stand up, and have realistic eye contact.

Web video producer Marques Brownlee noted that the floating head is a little “odd looking,” but that the feature brings the ability to interact with the same content as someone else in real-time.

It also appears that the new Personas are now just a little better-looking overall, which is important as the initial version left a lot to be desired.

To enable the feature, tap the Persona button during a FaceTime call (see instructions on Apple’s website). There are limitations. Up to five participants at once can use spatial Personas. You’ll need visionOS 1.1 or later, and at least two people on the call will need to have an Apple Vision Pro.