Is Apple’s Vision Pro a “Tremendous Opportunity” for Businesses?

Reps from Apple, Microsoft, and SAP speak on the Vision Pro's workplace potential

Is Apple's Vision Pro a
Augmented RealityNews Analysis

Published: April 12, 2024


Rory Greener

In a blog post this week, Apple outlined its commitment to designing Vision Pro and spatial computing services for industrial and business clients.

Apple debuted the Vision Pro in US markets earlier this year, with a productivity and workplace-focused approach – with a price-point to match.

The device is still very much in its early days; however, as it attempts to gain recognition, Apple is firmly placing the Vision Pro in notable workplace situations to translate the value of spatial data for business.

More recently, Apple partnered with NVIDIA to debut the workplace immersive collaboration and design suite Omniverse to the Vision Pro – powered by CloudXR – again, placing the device in business markets.

In Apple’s post, Rev Lebaredian, NVIDIA’s vice president of Omniverse and Simulation Technology, said:

The world’s industries are racing to build digital twins of products, facilities, and processes to better test and optimize designs well before constructing them in the physical world. Enterprises can now combine the power and capabilities of Apple Vision Pro and the physically accurate renderings of OpenUSD content with NVIDIA accelerated computing to power the next generation of immersive digital experiences.

The trajectory follows Apple’s success in integrating smartphones and tablets into enterprise environments, with current goals aiming to commercialize and scale 3D data.

Apple is not the only smartphone vendor moving in this direction; Samsung, Qualcomm, and Nokia are all moving investments towards the XR market.

A “Tremendous Opportunity for Businesses,” says Apple

In the blog post, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations and Enterprise Marketing, Susan Prescott, noted that Vision Pro represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to reimagine what’s possible at work.

Prescott also added:

We’re thrilled to see the innovative ways organizations are already using Apple Vision Pro, from planning fire response operations to iterating on the most intricate details of an engine design — and this is just the beginning. Combined with enterprise-grade capabilities like mobile device management built into visionOS, we believe spatial computing has the potential to revolutionize industries around the world.

VisionOS is the framework which powers Apple’s move from 2D to 3D computing. In a manner the firm describes as an “infinite canvas,” a user can interact with XR applications surrounding the user as 3D visualizations.

Moreover, the device does not need controllers to operate. Instead, a user can take control through eye, tracking, and voice control.

Continuing the Vision Pro’s productivity support, the device can also set up a Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, which allows users to familiarize themselves with classic productivity applications.

Apple Leverages SAP Analytics Cloud

Apple’s leveraging of SAP Analytics Cloud enables excellent business decision-making by providing a streamlined process of gathering, integrating, analyzing, and presenting data-driven insights.

Philipp Herzig, chief AI officer of SAP SE, noted that the Apple Vision Pro is “a revolutionary device,” explaining how the firms are leveraging the capabilities of spatial computing mixed with SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Mobile Start.

SAP’s Vision Pro service allows enterprises to leverage a spatial dashboard to enhance workflows with 3D maps, graphics, and data.

Herzig also added:

Going forward, we see the power of visionOS combined with generative AI being a force multiplier for enterprises. SAP Analytics Cloud running on Apple Vision Pro will help our customers discover all-new insights from complex data with powerful and intuitive processes that supercharge their business planning. And with SAP Mobile Start, we provide access to all of SAP’s business applications and workflows in unimaginable ways.

Moreover, the device is compatible with Vision Pro, alongside iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch – seemingly building upon an Apple-focused enterprise solutions ecosystem.

Apple Supports Microsoft

Another aspect of Apple’s notable workplace focus is to support commonplace workplace applications and aid both the service provider and its customers when working in a 3D workflow.

Ahead of the device’s debut earlier this year, major firms like Microsoft were working on an XR version of traditional 2D workplace services – with the firm supporting an immersive version of its 365 suite.

When the Vision Pro debuted, Microsoft quickly added the device to its long list of supported end devices.

Nicole Herskowitz, vice president of Microsoft 365 and Teams, noted:

Spatial computing has enabled us to rethink how professionals can be productive and work intelligently with the power of AI,” said Nicole Herskowitz, vice president, Microsoft 365 and Teams. “With Microsoft 365 and Teams on Apple Vision Pro, your office moves with you, allowing users to view apps side by side on an infinite canvas with spatial computing for incredible multitasking and collaboration.

Users can access Microsoft 365 productivity apps on the Vision Pro, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Teams. Moreover, Co-Pilot is on Vision Pro, allowing users to leverage the emerging genAI solution while multitasking on 365 apps. On the other hand, ChatGPT is an alternative genAI solution for Vision Pro.

More on Vision Pro

Apple has recently released a new update for its first-ever XR device, including several improvements to its core features. The latest version, 1.1, enhances the device’s performance, application usage, and persona system.

For businesses, Apple has made application enrollment more accessible, with support for account-driven enrollment. This means workers can use new Vision Pro procedures to manage their Apple IDs and network and provide support for services like Exchange and Google Workspace.

The updated Vision Pro provides more control over 3D asset interaction, which is essential for small office/work-from-home environments and other on-the-go use cases. With the latest update, users can move the volumetric scenes much closer than in the previous version, enabling easier direct interaction with the volumetric scene content.

The Vision Pro also features a persona feature that tracks a user’s facial movements and eyes to create a digital twin known as a Persona. However, the feature’s early stages have faced criticism for its uncanny valley qualities.

Lastly, the new SwiftUI frameworks enable a coordinated spatial environment and placement of 360 immersive applications, and the 1.1 update for Vision Pro improves application placement and tracking of environmental changes.

It’s worth noting that the Vision Pro is still in its early stages and has yet to be released in markets outside the US. Therefore, Apple is optimizing the Vision Pro experience before scaling.

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