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According to reports, Apple on Tuesday introduced a new feature for its mixed reality headset Vision Pro called Spatial Personas. An expansion of the existing Persona feature, which allows users to see 3D virtual representations of each other in a window, the new feature is said to allow users to move into a common virtual setting for a collaborative experience. Now users can play games, work together on projects, or watch movies while still being able to see all participants. The new features are said to have been added through Apple Vision Pro’s VisionOS update.

According to a report from The Verge, Vision Pro users will be able to activate spatial personas via FaceTime by clicking the corresponding button on the screen. This allows users to step out of their window-like boxes and stand together in a virtual sandbox. According to reports, only the face, upper torso, and hands are visible through the headset’s various cameras and Apple’s on-device digital rendering. This feature was added in the VisionOS 1.1 update.

Personas, 3D avatars within a window, were introduced simultaneously with the launch of Apple Vision Pro. Spatial Personas were demonstrated at WWDC 2023, but the feature was still in development. Now in beta, users can now collaborate on SharePlay-enabled apps.

With this feature, users can now see other participants in the room and their reactions as they sit together and watch a movie on a screen inside a virtual setting. Inverse’s Raymond Wong reported his experience using the feature in an Apple demo, highlighting that avatars now look much more realistic than in previous versions. Collaboration through Apple’s Freeform app also allows participants to write on a whiteboard or add and rearrange notes. Wong emphasizes that up to five participants can collaborate at a time.

When in the same virtual environment, other participants’ voices were known to come from the same direction as their avatars. The intensity also increases or decreases depending on how close or far the location is. Likewise, Apple Vision Pro users can see other participants the same way they appear in real life, even if they don’t share the same physical space. The feature is reported to be still in beta and is expected to be released publicly in the coming weeks.

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