Spatial Personas on Vision Pro arrive with visionOS 1.1

Apple will make Spatial Personas, a more lifelike enhancement of the Persona feature for the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, available in the visionOS 1.1 update coming Tuesday.

In beta test versions of the software, Spatial Personas allow Vision Pro users to create and interact with customizable, free-floating 3D digital avatars in virtual spaces. They enhance collaboration via SharePlay while going beyond the limits of a little box on a FaceTime call.

Spatial Personas arrive with visionOS 1.1

With a beta version of Spatial Personas coming out in VisionOS 1.1, a user can design an avatar that represents them somewhat more realistically than the existing Personas feature. Apple first unveiled the feature at WWDC23.

Up to now, regular Personas could represent a user’s facial expressions and hand movements. Spatial Personas should do it better, according to Apple.

The new feature can place the avatar in virtual hangout spaces, moving and gesturing just as the user does, through Vision Pro’s advanced motion-capture technology. Spatial Personas are useful for meetings, gameplay, media sharing and more.

But Spatial Personas go beyond simple 3D models. Using advanced machine learning, they include aspects of the user’s personality traits, speech patterns and conversational mannerisms learned through interactions with the user. Over time, Spatial Personas become an increasingly realistic digital representation of a user.

Time to try Spatial Personas on Vision Pro

Compared to Personas, a transparent background gives a more free-floating feel to Spatial Personas.
Photo: Apple

Beta users like developers can try Spatial Personas until it rolls out Tuesday in the public visionOS 1.1 (available to all).

Users may have to reboot their Vision Pro to bring up a Spatial Personas button in the FaceTime app. They can switch from regular Persona to spatial Persona using Control Center in Vision Pro.

As it tries to do across the board, Apple makes user privacy and data protection a priority with Spatial Personas. All machine learning happens on-device using encrypted data, with no cloud connectivity required.

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The Spatial Personas feature is available today as a free software update for all Vision Pro users. Developers can also integrate custom Persona experiences into their apps using RoomPlan APIs introduced in Apple’s xrOS 4 operating system.

Read more at Apple Developer about adding Spatial Persona support to SharePlay activities.

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