Apple's aiming to make it easy for everyone to get a glimpse of what its Vision Pro mixed reality headset is capable of. A deep dive into the first visionOS beta revealed a Guest Mode so you can pass your pricey new headset around to friends and family while still keeping your personal data out of reach.
As spotted by 9to5Mac, a previously announced Guest Mode was uncovered in the visionOS's first-ever developer beta that went live this week. Apple has since confirmed the new feature will be included on its Vision Pro headset.
Guest Mode, as you probably already guessed from the name, will let other users interact with an Apple Vision Pro that's registered to someone else. It's a handy feature given that the headset's functionality is tied to Optic ID, an authentication system in a similar vein as Face and Touch ID except it registers the user's irises. With Guest Mode, your friends and family won't have to go through the time-consuming process of Optic ID registering just to take it for a spin.
And, more importantly, you'll be able to control what they get to see. According to code reviewed by 9to5Mac, the owner can lock hidden and deleted photos behind Optic ID while another user is using the headset. The owner will also be able to set a password to let others access certain apps and settings without needing to be unlocked with Optic ID.
A purported screenshot of Guest Mode shared on Twitter showed the following pop-up message: “Allow others to use your Apple Vision Pro. Once started, the mode will end if it’s not put on within 5 minutes.”
#visionOS Guest User Mode!!! pic.twitter.com/NVp7jXoLlKJune 21, 2023
It's not the only previously unannounced feature hinted at within the first visionOS beta. A MacRumors report uncovered signs of a Travel Mode specifically geared toward using the mixed reality headset on a plane, something we saw demonstrated in the announcement trailer but haven't heard more details about since.
While it doesn't seem like Travel Mode is usable just yet, a deep dive into the beta's code implies it would either disable or limit a bunch of the headset's awareness features when active. That makes sense given the cramped conditions of your average flight. With the Vision Pro relying on sensing movements and gestures to operate, being packed into a tight space with hundreds of other people is bound to impact its functionality.
Travel Mode also warns users to stay stationary, which seems like a no-brainer. If you have a $3,500 headset strapped to your face covering your eyes, moving around is likely only to freak out your fellow passengers at best and, at worst, become a genuine safety hazard.
It should be noted that visionOS is still in an early beta, meaning we could see changes to the Vision Pro's Guest Mode and other features before we get our hands on it. There's no exact launch date for the Vision Pro at this time, but it's expected to arrive in early 2024. While you're waiting, check out our Apple Vision Pro hands-on for our early thoughts on the headset, and the Apple Vision Pro hub for all the latest updates.