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visionOS 2 Is Reportedly Coming This Year - Will It Bring 3D Spatial Personas?

visionOS 2 Is Reportedly Coming This Year - Will It Bring 3D Spatial Personas?

visionOS 2.0 for Apple Vision Pro will release this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.

Apple Vision Pro launched on February 2 with visionOS 1.0. Earlier this month Apple released visionOS 1.1 with improvements to the realism of Personas, reliability of Mac Virtual Display, positioning of Volumes, and more.

visionOS 1.1 Is Out Now, Improving Personas And More
visionOS 1.1 for Apple Vision Pro is out now. It improves Personas, Mac Virtual Display, and more. Read all the notable changes here.

Gurman writes that a more substantial visionOS 2.0 update will release this year and is codenamed "Constellation". visionOS 1.0 was codenamed Borealis, suggesting an astronomy theme for the codenames.

Apple usually shares details of entirely new versions of its operating systems at its annual WWDC conference, which takes place in June.

Spatial Personas?

While it's currently unknown what new features and improvements visionOS 2.0 might bring, there is one very significant visionOS feature previewed at last year's WWDC when Vision Pro was unveiled that has yet to ship: Spatial Personas.

Personas are Apple's realistic virtual avatars in visionOS, driven in real time by the headset's eye, face, and hand tracking sensors. Your Persona will appear in any iPad or iPhone app that requests the selfie camera, as well as visionOS apps that integrate Personas. Right now that visionOS integration is limited to showing the Persona inside a 2D rectangular window, as if a webcam view. But at WWDC 2023 the company teased Spatial Personas, 3D avatars that can be positioned in your space in AR or VR.

At the time Apple said Spatial Personas would arrive as a "developer preview" in late 2023 to allow developers using the visionOS simulator to build apps using them, but this has yet to happen even as of March 2024. That suggests Spatial Personas have been pushed out to visionOS 2.

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Apple's teaser of Spatial Personas from WWDC 2023.

Spatial Personas will enable you to have a shared environment with other Vision Pro users in both AR and fully immersive apps, seeing each other in a shared coordinate space with shared context instead of as detached webcam-like views.

Apple said it will offer three Spatial Persona positioning templates for developers: Side-By-Side, Surround, and Conversational.

  • Side-By-Side is ideal for windowed apps, including co-watching content like movies and TV shows.
  • Surround places the content in the center with users facing it in a circular arrangement. It's a better choice for viewing or interacting with volumetric content, such as playing a tabletop game or viewing a CAD model.
  • Conversational places the users in a semi-circle and the content off-center. Apple says this is for when social interaction is the primary point of the experience with the content acting as a background, such as playing music.

Apple has already architected visionOS to make synchronizing app states between users as easy as possible for developers. Spatial Personas, when they arrive, should be a step-change upgrade for using Vision Pro with other owners, opening up new multi-user use cases and significantly improving the sense of social presence in existing co-watching experiences.

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