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Early Takeaways from an Apple Vision Pro Developer

DAS Labs Senior Engineer and Apple Vision Pro developer Nick Wright weighs in on how the new device will impact the augmented reality industry.


apple vision pro developer

In the realm of technology, Apple has long been at the forefront of innovation. From groundbreaking smartphones to sleek laptops, the tech giant has consistently pushed the boundaries of what's possible. Now, with the introduction of the Apple Vision Pro, they're venturing into uncharted territory once again, ushering in a new era of augmented reality (AR) experiences, also known as spatial computing


Augmented reality, the technology that overlays digital information onto the real world, has been steadily gaining traction in recent years. From Pokémon GO to Snapchat filters, AR has already found its way into our everyday lives. However, Apple's Vision Pro takes this concept to a whole new level.


Advanced Eye Tracking

While eye tracking has been a core feature of VR and AR headsets for a while, the Vision Pro aims for ultra-high precision and responsiveness. The eye tracking technology in the headset works via a “system of LEDs and infrared cameras [projecting] invisible light patterns onto each eye.” 


Apple has claimed that the Vision Pro isn’t a gaming device, and this feature kind of proves that statement. While very serious gamers might appreciate the upgrade in responsiveness and precision, I see the feature empowering more significant use cases. For example, as an Apple Vision Pro developer I’ve already started to see it used in medical applications - with practitioners even using augmented reality in surgery. There are a variety of other use cases in which I could see sophisticated eye-tracking opening more doors, and I’m looking forward to seeing these innovations come to fruition. 


Passthrough 

When a user is immersed in a virtual reality environment, there are a few reasons the device might need to break that immersion. For example, if the family pet jumps up to say hello to someone who is immersed in a virtual world, there could be safety concerns that arise. Passthrough is a feature that allows objects, animals, and people from the real world to appear to the headset user. 


This passthrough functionality is made possible by a combination of cutting-edge sensors, cameras, and display technologies. By intelligently capturing and processing the environment around you in real-time, the device can overlay digital information onto your field of view without obstructing your vision. The result is an immersive AR experience that feels remarkably natural and intuitive.


Overall, the passthrough functionality of the Apple Vision Pro represents a groundbreaking leap forward in the field of augmented reality. By seamlessly integrating digital content with the real world in a transparent and immersive manner, the device opens up a world of possibilities across various industries and applications. Whether it's gaming, education, healthcare, or enterprise, the Vision Pro has the potential to revolutionize how we perceive and interact with our surroundings.


Changes for Vision Pro Developers: Languages and Frameworks

Some of the most immediate effects of the headset’s release are related to the tools that developers use to create applications. Swift, Apple’s powerful programming language, and RealityKit, its AR framework, are naturally gaining significant attention in the Vision Pro developer community. We’ve been using these tools for developing augmented reality apps for iPhones for a while, but the headset naturally has brought new features and innovations to the forefront. 


The tools are designed to tap into the Vision Pro’s unique capabilities, such as spatial audio, detailed environmental understanding, and impressively realistic rendering of virtual objects.  Developers leveraging these technologies can create more immersive and interactive AR solutions than ever before.


I’m looking forward to seeing what creative new applications and technologies build on Apple’s advancements over the coming years. In the meantime, DAS Labs is currently accepting development work to integrate with the Vision Pro. To discuss a project with us, reach out today

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