Apple Vision Pro may have a Travel Mode for plane rides

Jun 23, 2023

The Apple Vision Pro headset could have a feature that has been fine-tuned for airplane rides. The wearable device may have a Travel Mode that may offer a much different experience.

Airplane cabins don't have a lot of space for you to move, you may argue that they barely have legroom. Given the nature of the limited space that is available in such a scenario, it could severely limit how a user may operate the Apple Vision Pro. MacRumors has unearthed some code which reveals that the first developer beta of visionOS operating system has a Travel Mode.

This feature has a bunch of text strings that highlight how it would work. Firstly, it appears that the headset would prompt the user to confirm whether they are on an airplane. It's not clear how the prompt appears, since the device has multiple cameras and proximity sensors, it will probably use them to detect your environment, and tell you to enable Travel Mode to continue using the Apple Vision Pro. It makes sense, it is a safety feature.

Apple Vision Pro's Travel Mode could have restricted features

Apple's mixed reality headset will prompt you to remain stationary in Travel Mode, which is probably to ensure that you don't move or make gestures that may disturb other passengers, or cause harm to them.

The code in the beta version of the software says that "Some awareness features will be off." This maybe related to the sensor on the device that are used for spatial awareness, which once again could be to prevent unnecessary movement by the user. Digital Personals aka your avatars will not available in Travel Mode, which is also probably related to the restricted space and the disabled awareness features.

The Apple Vision Pro may have reduced gaze accuracy when Travel Mode is on, the eye tracking feature may not work properly when you are seated in a plane.

During the WWDC 2023 event, Apple played a video that introduced the Vision Pro. A part of the video trailer outlined how a user could wear the headset on a plane to watch a movie using the headset. It also showed a feature to adjust the picture's size for a more immersive experience. Think about it, A VR headset could be the perfect solution for distractions on a plane, it will not only block your vision, but will also let you use apps, games, watch videos. This could offer a much better distraction-free experience than using a phone, tablet or even a laptop to do the same.

It is also worth noting that the user in the video was wearing AirPods, which raises a question, will the spatial audio speakers in the headset be functional when Travel Mode is enabled? The answer is probably no, which, of course, may have been done by design to prevent audio output that is played through the speakers from disturbing your fellow passengers.

Plane rides can be tiresome, noisy and boring, the Travel Mode in Apple Vision Pro could make the journey a bit more tolerable, that is if you can cough up the money for the headset.

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Apple Vision Pro may have a Travel Mode for plane rides
Apple's mixed reality headset may have a Travel Mode for plane rides.
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