The Apple Vision Pro is unlikely to be on many of our shopping lists, thanks to its $3,499 (around £2,800 / AU$5,300) price tag. But some new demo videos showing its sci-fi setup process and interface will make many tech fans glad that it exists.
The mixed-reality headset will run on Apple's new visionOS and new beta versions of that software are revealing some videos of the Vision Pro setup process. As you can see from the video posted by @M1Astra on X (formerly Twitter) below, the 'Persona Enrollment' process is like a next-gen Face ID.
The Vision Pro's 'Persona' will effectively be the wearer's digital avatar in FaceTime calls, allowing them to talk to freely to others in video calls without the bulky headset obscuring eye contact. And this new visionOS video shows exactly how this digital clone will be created.
New video tutorial showing Persona Enrollment for Apple Vision Pro added in visionOS beta 6!The enrollment uses the EyeSight display to guide the user. pic.twitter.com/cGfsdTuIaYNovember 14, 2023
To create your digital 'Persona', you'll simply hold up the Vision Pro to your face and its TrueDepth cameras and LiDAR scanner will do the rest. You'll be asked to perform a range of facial expressions to help animate your 'Persona', then you'll be able to see the result immediately by putting the headset back on. As our hands-on Apple Vision Pro review reveals, the experience is both futuristic and eerie.
The latter shows how you'll use your eyes to select apps by looking at them, then tap your fingers to click (with the demo explaining that "it's like a click on your Mac"). To scroll, you'll just need to pinch your fingers together and "gently flick" in the direction you want to go.
Some popular apps are also now giving us a glimpse of their Vision Pro experience. Telegram founder Pavel Durov yesterday posted a video on its messaging platform (which you can also watch on X) showing how its emojis and videos will expand from the translucent tiles of the app's interface.
Apple's vision becomes clearer
While these visionOS beta videos don't reveal anything particularly new about the Vision Pro, they do show how invested Apple is in making it a next-gen computing platform – and also suggest that the headset is still on track to launch in early 2024 (in the US).
The 'Persona Enrollment' video in particular shows that even minor parts of the setup process will involve an elaborate, slick new UI that looks like the natural progression of macOS. Of course, whether this will form part of an actually compelling 'spatial computer' (as Apple likes to call it) is another matter.
One other promising Vision Pro launch feature is 'spatial video', which TechRadar's US editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff recently took for a test ride and came away largely impressed.
Even if the Vision Pro does understandably prove too pricey for most of us, we have also seen the first early rumors about the Vision Pro 2. That might be a more realistic mainstream mixed-reality prospect, but in the meantime, we'll likely get a taste of what Apple thinks is the future of computing with more visionOS beta videos in the coming months.
You might also like
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.