Apple kicked off WWDC with a bang, introducing its highly anticipated virtual reality (VR) platform, calling it a “revolutionary spatial computer.”
VR and augmented reality (AR) are widely considered to be one of the next big steps in computing, with companies like Meta and Microsoft sinking billions in its development. In typical fashion, Apple may have just pulled the rug out from under them, unveiling a product that appears far more mature and powerful than anything else on the market.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing. Built upon decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before — with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations. It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers.”
Paired with visionOS, Vision Pro takes computing 3D, giving users a virtual canvas to work with.
Apple Vision Pro enables users to be even more productive, with infinite screen real estate, access to their favorite apps, and all-new ways to multitask. And with support for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, users can set up the perfect workspace or bring the powerful capabilities of their Mac into Vision Pro wirelessly, creating an enormous, private, and portable 4K display with incredibly crisp text.
The company says Vision Pro will also provide immersive entertainment experiences, whether using the platform for watching a movie or playing a game.
With two ultra-high-resolution displays, Apple Vision Pro can transform any space into a personal movie theater with a screen that feels 100 feet wide and an advanced Spatial Audio system. Users can watch movies and TV shows, or enjoy stunning three-dimensional movies. Apple Immersive Video offers 180-degree high-resolution recordings with Spatial Audio, and users can access an exciting lineup of immersive videos that transport them to entirely new places.
Spatial computing makes new types of games possible with titles that can span a spectrum of immersion and bring gamers into all-new worlds. Users can also play over 100 Apple Arcade games on a screen as large as they want, with incredible immersive audio and support for popular game controllers.
Spatial computing looks like the culmination of many of Apple’s recent developments, combing its industry-leading M-series chips with its software design.
“Creating our first spatial computer required invention across nearly every facet of the system,” said Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice president of the Technology Development Group. “Through a tight integration of hardware and software, we designed a standalone spatial computer in a compact wearable form factor that is the most advanced personal electronics device ever.”
More to the point, Apple appears poised to revolutionize the VR industry, much as it revolutionized the computer industry and the smartphone industry.