Persona feature on Apple Vision Pro gets an update in visionOS 1.1 — digital avatars appear 'markedly better'

Vision Pro Persona
(Image credit: Apple)

One of Apple Vision Pro’s most polarising features since its launch just got an update in visionOS 1.1, and now users claim Personas are much improved.

The visionOS 1.1 beta arrived on Tuesday, and Vision Pro owners have taken to X to highlight the improvements, most notably more lifelike Personas. Developer Dylan McDonald, tweeted, “Personas are markedly better in visionOS 1.1. However, mine for some reason looks kinda cross-eyed…”

Other users showcased the improvements to their Persona compared to visionOS 1.0. Quinn Nelson from Snazzy Labs noticed the difference stating, “Is it still uncanny and creepy? Yeah, but I don't look like Stalin anymore.”

Personas are your virtual avatar inside Vision Pro. The headset scans your eyes and face, using its cameras to mimic your facial expressions. The feature is also used to create the external eyes you see as part of EyeSight, another feature that has been met with its fair share of criticism since the release of Vision Pro on February 2.

Personas are also the main representation of anyone using Vision Pro for video calls like FaceTime. Instead of the person you call seeing a static image, Vision Pro recreates your face to make video calls from within the mixed-reality headset as lifelike as possible.

Apple says Personas are still in beta, so we’re hoping to see continuous improvements to the feature, including more realistic hair physics. At the moment, your hair is locked based on the initial scans of your face used to create the avatar.

visionOS 1.1 is set to be released to the public at a later date, improving not only Personas but also device management so you don’t need to head to your local Apple Store to reset your Vision Pro password.

Will Personas ever feel “normal”?

Watching impressions of the Apple Vision Pro on YouTube makes Personas look like one of the oddest and creepiest innovations Apple may ever have come up with. That said, a lot of those impressions also highlight how you get immersed by the feeling of using Vision Pro and quickly forget how uneasy Personas actually look.

With future visionOS software updates, Apple may reach the end goal of creating a realistic Persona that can be used in video calls without creeping out your friends and family not wearing a Vision Pro — time will tell if we ever get there.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.