Apple Vision Pro launch highlights ‘personal movie theatre’ potential


Apple has unveiled its much-anticipated VR/AR headset (or ‘spatial computer’ as the company styles it) – the Apple Vision Pro. In addition to its many other functionalities, the device is being pitched by Apple as a high-end home entertainment centre.

The Vision Pro features two ultra-high-resolution displays, enabling to “transform any space into a personal movie theatre with a screen that feels 100 feet wide and an advanced spatial audio system”, the company said.

Apple said that its Immersive Video provides 180° high-resolution recordings with spatial audio.

The home theatre functionality sits alongside the device’s potential as an immersive game console. Users can pay over 100 Apple Arcade games on the screen at any size with immersive audio and support for popular game controllers.

Vision Pro features an all-new app store and is built on a new operating system, visionOS, designed to support the low-latency requirements of spatial computing featuring a new three-dimensional interface that can be controlled by hands, eyes and voice.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing. 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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Apple Vision Pro as a replacement for TVs

The potential of the device as a replacement for TVs attracted the attention of observers. Simon Windsor, CEO of virtual production studio Dimension, commented that “the enormous play Apple has just made for the living room” would be “of key importance to mainstream adoption”.

Windsor said that the potential of the Apple ecosystem to “entirely reimagine how we experience film and TV via the combination of Vision Pro, Apple spatial audio, Apple TV and the App store” would “change how we enjoy our favourite films and shows”.

He said that replacing the physical TV with a device that allows users to select screen size and virtual viewing environment would give a major impetus to content creators embracing 3D and mixed reality production techniques.

With a price tag of US$3,499 when it becomes available next year, that mainstream adoption is still probably still some way off. Whether the longer-term potential of Apple’s device to succeed as a new form of home entertainment experience – including overcoming the resistance to wearing a physical device that helped sink 3DTV – will be an interesting story to follow.

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