Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Apple never talked about ‘VR’ or ‘mixed reality’. This is how he wants to define the Vision Pro

The announcement of the Apple Vision Pro It continues to give people something to talk about, and there are plenty of reasons for it. Among the most curious points of its launch is that Apple has avoided referring to them strictly as a virtual reality or augmented reality product. And the reason is that, after all, they correspond to both worlds and neither of them at all.

It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s probably by design. In introducing the Vision Pro, Apple mixed a wide variety of concepts. Some of them we met in other products —call them Meta Quest, HTC Vive, HoloLens, etc.—, while others promise to revolutionize the sector.

In the course of the last year, before knowing if they would finally see the light, the Apple Vision Pro were referenced as “mixed reality glasses”. This occurred both among the press and analysts, as well as with the public. At some point there was also talk of “extended reality”, although it did not have much impact. And the concept of mixed reality itself applies perfectly to what the device offers, but Apple (being Apple) has decided to put a more dramatic spin on the issue.

During the presentation of the Apple Vision Pro, there was no talk of virtual reality or mixed reality, but of space computing, or spatial computing. And the only reference to augmented reality was by way of introduction, when Tim Cook took control of the keynote from the stage of the Steve Jobs Theater.

“I believe that augmented reality is a technology with enormous potential. Combining digital content with the real world can open the door to never-before-seen experiences. And today, I’m excited to bring you an entirely new AR platform, in a revolutionary new product. “, said the CEO of the Cupertino firmbefore giving way to the first look at the glasses in question.

Apple Vision Pro: why ‘spatial computing’ and not mixed or virtual reality

There is no doubt that Apple has a PhD when it comes to choosing names for new features of your products. If the recent past is any experience, the Dynamic Island (Dynamic Island) of the iPhone 14 Pro and the Photonic Engine (Photonic Engine) of iOS 16 are clear examples of this. It is easy to notice, then, that the term space computing it has all of Cupertino’s marketing engineering on top of it. But it is not limited to that.

For this reason, I mentioned before that the presentation of the Apple Vision Pro brought with it a very interesting mix of concepts, and at the same time confusing. What the new device promises is to combine the best of virtual reality and augmented reality, both for entertainment and productivity, but without turning 100% for one or the other.

As we already said, it is mixed reality at its best. But Apple thinks that space computing (or spatial computing) is a better way to refer to this technology. And we go back to a few lines back: it has a lot of marketing, but also a lot of sense.

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What the Apple Vision Pro tries is to convert the space around the user into a kind of infinite three-dimensional canvas where you can interact with multiple apps to work and communicate, or immerse yourself in an immersive experience when playing games or watching movies or series. That the frames of the screen of a mobile, a tablet, a PC or a television are no longer a limit.

Californians presented various scenarios of possible uses for the glasses, and of course some seemed more feasible than others. Certain cases have been plain and simple dystopian (taking photos or recording space videos of your children, to mention one), although it may have been the only way to highlight such a specific characteristic. The truth is that in all the concept is the same: Apple Vision Pro is the first step towards the computer of the future.

This does not mean that it is free of contradictions. On the one hand, Apple seems to say: “this is AR at a level that has never been seen, and not at what Pokémon Go“. For the other, choose to show an experience with the gaming totally removed from the immersion of virtual reality. After all, we didn’t see anyone using the Vision Pro in Beat Saberbut to a subject playing NBA 2K23 with a PS5 DualSense controller. The same thing you could do with the TV in your living room, but with a helmet on your head.

Mark Zuckerberg and Meta's metaverse looks like a Wii game

Apple has also decided to stay away — at least for now — from virtual worlds. that might attract comparisons to the metaverse. In fact, during the keynote Any reference to Meta’s efforts or similar projects (own or third-party) was avoided, and rightly so. If with the Apple Vision Pro there has not been talk of “avatars”, but of “digital people”.

It is evident, then, that speaking of space computing it’s a combination of a lot of technology, tons of marketing, and words chosen with stern caution. Of course, until the Apple Vision Pro hits the market, we won’t know how well this new platform will fare. Priced at $3,499, it’s hardly a bestseller. However, they may be the cornerstone of apple developments for decades to come.

Today, Apple is sticking out its chest against its rivals. It has shown it has the hardware, and it claims it has the software, to disrupt the tech industry like never before. According to Californians, visionOS it is “the first operating system that has been created specifically for spatial computing.” It will be a matter of time to know if it lives up to what it promises. Although some already speculate that the project will not be truly promising Until Tim Cook Takes a Photo Using Apple Vision Pro, Not Just Standing Next to It.

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