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Ridicule Erupts as Apple Reveals the Avatars in Its Super Expensive VR System

Uncanny Valley

Apple's ridiculously expensive Vision Pro will be released on Friday, and early reviews of the VR goggle's custom digital avatars are already pouring in.

Basically, they're unsettling and bad. After YouTuber Justine Ezarik posted a video of herself FaceTiming two other people on the social media platform X-formerly Twitter, people in the replies piled on with salty comments about the "personas," the built-in digital avatar in Vision Pro that recreates your face and tracks its movements.

"Good God! This is horrifying," one X user opined.

"This is probably the best advertisement for using anime online identities lol," another user quipped.

These X users aren't the only ones horrified by the personas.

After FaceTiming family, The Wall Street Journal reporter Joanna Stern said that her sister told her point blank: "You look awful."

Stern's dad was equally merciless, with a verdict of "frightening."

Other tech reviewers who have gotten a sneak peak of Vision Pro have had similar complaints about the personas, which many people have said approach "uncanny valley" territory.

https://twitter.com/ijustine/status/1752401339752263840

Beta Vision

Apple describes the digital personas as "an authentic spatial representation of an Apple Vision Pro user that enables others on a call to see their facial expressions and hand movements — all in real time."

To create your persona, Apple uses what it calls "machine learning techniques" to map out and recreate your face.

And if you attend a meeting on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Cisco Webex, be prepared to encounter these weird digital avatars, because these programs support Apple's personas.

Though it seems everybody with access to Vision Pro will get the opportunity to make their own persona, the persona avatars will still be in beta mode come launch day.

But you would think they would have worked out the kinks for a digital avatar by now — especially since Vision Pro retails at a hefty $3,499.

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