As reported by MacRumors, Apple has a hidden Travel Mode feature within the Apple Vision Pro developers beta of its VisionOS, which sounds like it could be fantastic. Imagine flying off to your favorite vacation location, immersed in your own reality, disconnected from the many tiny annoyances of airplane travel.
Travel Mode is meant to enhance your experience while onboard a plane, which sounds like a fantastic idea, in theory. Sometimes an aircraft cabin can feel unsettling as you're hurtling through the air at 400 miles per hour, 30,000 feet up in an elongated tuna can. Travel Mode is meant to improve that experience by immersing you in your own environment.
However, you're stuck wearing Apple's goofy ski goggles for an extended period and even longer on international flights, so you must be tethered to the external battery. This sounds like an additional annoyance and just another piece of tech I now have to get through security when trying to board my flight.
What is Apple Vision Travel Mode?
From text found within the developer's beta, it can be surmised that Travel Mode is designed to improve the Vision Pro's functionality while within the confines of an airplane. Some awareness features will be turned off or scaled back during air travel due to some sensors that deal with spatial awareness being affected by the limited space within an aircraft.
The text also implies that your digital persona will not be available during your flight; with reasons for this unknown now, I'm guessing it may have to do with a lack of WiFi connection. Sure, many airlines offer WiFi, but often that is an additional cost. Another issue seems to be with the accuracy of Gaze while on an airplane, which is said to possibly be due to the position one sits in while on an aircraft. Although it appears Travel Mode will make adjustments to compensate for this.
Lastly, there is mention of a "Remain stationary" prompt within Travel Mode, which could be a safety measure thanks to the lack of space to move around or make large movements, which could disturb others.
In theory, using your Apple Vision Pro while on a flight seems like it could be fun, and the immersive experience could make a long flight more enjoyable. However, you must be very conscious of your surroundings to avoid disturbing others.
If you can afford to shell out $3,500 for an Apple developer's new plaything, then you can afford to shell out additional funds to fly first class and have the space required to enjoy this experience fully. Airlines may now create an Apple Vision first-class solution allowing users more room to move around. Yes, that was sarcasm.
I also think flying with something strapped to your head may be inconvenient, especially on long flights; it could start to weigh on you and make things uncomfortable. Sure, it could cause an economy seat on a plane to seem more like first class, but in the end, you don't have the room to move around or make the needed gestures to properly use the Apple Vision Pro.
For me, I'll stick with a neck pillow, my tablet and falling asleep after a cocktail, that's my Travel Mode, and it's built-in to me and is free.
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Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.