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Apple Vision Pro gets its first real shared social experiences

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Apple has revealed one of the first real social experiences for the new Vision Pro headset – floating, virtual bodies of your friends.

The new feature, named "spatial Personas", allows other people to appear within the virtual reality headset. It is aimed at encouraging collaboration and shared experiences within the new platform.

Apple unveiled a host of software with the new headset, when it was released earlier this year. But most of the features were focused on solo experiences, such as watching films or using software, and some early reviewers complained that it could feel lonely.

Now, Apple's spatial Personas can give something of the effect of being inside the rom with another person. They will hover in the air alongside other apps, responding as if they are really there.

Apple launched the original versions of Personas with its headset. Users first scan their face – then when the headset is worn, it can track the movements of its owner's face and use them to animate the model, allowing people to appear as if they are not wearing the headset.

Until now, however, it has been limited to video calls in FaceTime. There, anyone wearing a Vision Pro would show up in a window that would move as they talked and gestured.

The spatial Personas will still start within FaceTime. But users can then use the SharePlay feature – which is available on the iPhone and other platforms as well as the Vision Pro, and lets people experience things together virtually – to collaborate within apps or watch content.

Up to five people can be brought into the headset with the new feature. All of them have to be wearing Vision Pro headsets of their own, and it is currently only available in a beta update.

Apple's Personas have received mixed reviews since they launched with the headset, with some reviewers complaining that they appeared uncanny or unresponsive. Apple has updated them in the time since, with a view to making them less creepy.