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Spatial Personas adds 3D calling to FaceTime on Apple Vision Pro

Spatial Personas [Apple/Inverse]Spatial Personas [Apple/Inverse]Spatial Personas [Apple/Inverse]

FaceTime is set to become more immersive for Apple Vision Pro users, with Apple testing out Spatial Personas that make callers float in front of you.

Like many other Apple devices, the Apple Vision Pro offers users the ability to take and place audio and video calls using FaceTime. While the current version is fairly similar in concept to the existing flat video version, Apple envisions a way for Apple Vision Pro users to see each other in a more immersive way, thanks to Personas.

Spatial Personas is a version of the Apple Vision Pro that Inverse reports that Spatial Personas taps into the Persona digital avatar system to change how others are viewed within a FaceTime call. At least, for Apple Vision Pro users.

Normally, FaceTime calls are conducted in floating tiles, which display either a video feed or a version of the contact's Persona, depending on what hardware they are using to take the call.

In a demonstration by Apple's Public Relations and Product Marketing teams, Apple's new system skips the tile element entirely and instead floats the caller's head, upper body, and hands in front of them.

The system also works for group calls, with callers gathered in a circle. To help with body language cues in conversation, the contacts are arranged in the same order, so everyone will see the same person or thing that an individual's looking or pointing at correctly.

Audio is also directional, helping users identify which person in a group call is speaking, relative to their position.

Users can also decide to sit down or stand up, with their positions and eye-lines changing to match their position in relation to other users. Participants can also move around in their physical space to change their position relative to other callers.

Walking through another Persona results in the other person turning temporarily into a circular contact card.

The demonstration of Spatial Persona was viewed as a very immersive and conducive to shared experiences. For productivity, up to five people could be working on a digital whiteboard at once, for example, while apps such as board games could become a more sociable experience with people gathered around a board or table.

Coming very soon

It appears that owners of the Apple Vision Pro could get to use the Spatial Persona system soon, with one tweet from Ben Lang on X indicating that users on the latest release of visionOS should be able to use it after rebooting. A rollout is expected to happen at some point on Tuesday.

Once enabled, Spatial Personas will exist as a new option above the End Call button in FaceTime, during a call with other Apple Vision Pro users.