Spatial Personas Coming to Apple Vision Pro in Beta Today

Apple today announced that Spatial Personas are now available for all Vision Pro users in a public beta.

Spatial Persona Apple
Apple previewed Spatial Personas at WWDC last year. Unlike the existing Personas feature, which is confined to a tile and facial expressions only, Spatial Personas allow Vision Pro users to "break out of the familiar FaceTime tile and feel more present, like they are gathered in the same physical space." They feature a transparent background and are able to show body language and additional movement such as hand gestures for a more lifelike experience.

Spatial Personas are independent of a visionOS software update or beta, but require ‌visionOS‌ 1.1 or later. The feature is available during ‌FaceTime‌ calls and supports up to five participants at once. Inverse and Road to VR today shared first impressions of the new feature.

Related Roundups: visionOS, visionOS 2
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

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Top Rated Comments

Haiku_Oezu Avatar
15 weeks ago

I think these types of spatial personas are exactly what we need. I’m sure it will take some to refine but at least we won’t end up with the Meta version….
This will never not be funny

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Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
crsh1976 Avatar
15 weeks ago
I suppose one has to experience it before judging, but seeing ghosts in my AVP isn't something I put down on my want list.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Infodataset Avatar
15 weeks ago
I think this will be perfect for halloween ;)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryanmp Avatar
15 weeks ago

Interesting, they’re definitely going for a less game-y approach than Meta with positions being preset and controlled directly by the application but I think it works with the kind of “all business” vibe they got going on

Personally I’ll never use personas, just like I never used video chat, but it’s nice that they’re making use of the hardware instead of just having a flat fake webcam feed
It’s probably gonna make the hologram effect feel less weird when the whole projection lives in a 3D space
I think these types of spatial personas are exactly what we need. I’m sure it will take some to refine but at least we won’t end up with the Meta version….

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Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnyb098 Avatar
15 weeks ago
Now we know why iPads hav been pushed back ….
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
15 weeks ago
A nice first step. Imagine version 5 or 10. Imagine you and a college buddy or three now living far away from each other wishing you could all get back together for the big game at the old alma mater but none of you can due to <reasons- cost/job/fam/etc- that commonly override such opportunities>. Imagine a NCAA VR service that can gather you and such friends in the stadium seats just like this is trying to make shared movie watching possible. Friend #2 lives on the East Coast. Friend #3 lives on the West Coast. Friend #4 is currently in Tokyo. Friend #5 will be flying at 37K feet during the big game but have sufficient wifi to "attend" too. Up to all 5 of you can get together to sort of be "there" exactly as this story is talking about gathering together on the same sofa to watch a movie.

Yes, that can't compete with you and your buddies all jumping on planes, flying back to college town, paying for lodging, paying up for tickets to the big game, paying for food & transport, etc. On the other hand, it would be a superior experience to each of you watching on a television (if the local television can even get that same game for the 5 of you) and having some kind of conference call or Zoom/FaceTime (on phones) experience.

This very same idea of remote friends gathering together for a movie easily extrapolates to gathering together anywhere for the big game, for the concert, for the Olympics, for Broadway shows, etc. Why would those venues & teams/performers be interested? Make more money than they can get by only selling the hard-capped quantity of seats available at the actual venue. Why would Apple be interested? Besides a tangible reason to own Vpro, they take their commission off such transactions. Why are customers interested? The experience is more like gathering together THERE than possible now... other than actually traveling "there."

Lastly the same virtual seats could be sold to thousands or millions of virtual attendees... so a volume-based pricing play could make it possible to sell such seats at PPV-like levels but deliver an experience a bit more "there" than existing PPV. If you want to make the high price of Vpro not seem so high, compare it plus whatever you can imagine as the price of a VR seat/season vs. the reality of courtside seats in person. For example, here's pricing for ONE seat to ONE game, courtside for my local NBA team...

$3500-$4K for a Vpro plus the cost to virtually sit about there vs. $43,350 to actually sit there casts Vpro pricing in a very different light. Now work that math to attend 2 games, 3 games, 5 games, 10... noting that after the first one, you can reuse the same Vpro hardware, so subtract the $3500 outlay portion beginning with game #2.

CERTAINLY there would be a much enhanced experience by actually being in that seat at the game (for $43K). And yes, the other option is to watch the same game through a 2D Window called a television for towards "free*" But, for those interested in something in between- and maybe buying a few VR seats so that they can attend with distant friends as described in this story- $3500 is a LOT less than $43K. Is that ticket price an anomaly? No. You might recall that the very worst seats at the Superbowl were selling for $9K. $9K is a LOT more than $3500 too.

As it seems inevitable to eventually be tangible offerings, I look forward to the launch of VR seat/season packages in NFL ST VR, NCAA VR, NBA VR, MLB VR, NHL VR, MLS VR, Nascar VR, WWE VR, Olympics VR, etc... and broadway shows... and concerts around the world, etc. Will it still make sense to watch on TV too? Of course, when friends are over, gather around the set in the traditional way. Will it still make sense to pay up to be there in person? Yes, because that is the maximum experience. As another kind of viewing option, can this fit in between those two when the situation makes sense? Why not? Bring it on!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)