WWDC 24: Everything Businesses Needs to Know about Vision Pro

Everything enterprise from WWDC including, new OS, regional availability, optimised XR suites, and APIs

WWDC 24: Everything Businesses Needs to Know about Vision Pro
Mixed RealityLatest News

Published: June 13, 2024


Rory Greener

At WWDC 2024, audiences expected Apple to showcase its XR developments front and centre. The big news was Apple’s debut of new regional Vision Pro availability and the visionOS 2 framework, a fresh device framework to boost general device adoption and application creation.

But importantly, WWDC, as the event’s name suggests, is aimed at developers who are dedicated to Apple’s trusted walled garden. In the days following the introductory and headline-stealing keynote, Apple’s WWDC developer sessions provide exciting insights into Apple’s Vision Pro plans.

Vision Pro updates are coming quickly this week, not just from Apple. In reaction to WWDC, third-party XR solution providers are taking note of the most recent WWDC updates and supporting the device for use cases such as 3D design collaboration and professional grade XR video capture.

Accessible Designing for visionOS

In its recently released “Designing for visionOS” document, Apple highlighted the core technology stack that powers the Vision Pro and how users interact with the device. Apple’s outlined elements help to provide a spatial computing experience for users, including deep considerations for XR space, immersion, passthrough, spatial audio, eye tracking, hand tracking, ergonomics, and accessibility.

These elements allow users to interact easily with 3D assets and XR applications. Accessibility and understanding are critical for Apple; the firm is deliberately putting extra effort into onboarding potential customers in-store to ensure that users can have a custom, comfortable device and understand how to use it. Apple achieves this via a series of in-store onboarding processes; as the Vision Pro hits new markets across the next 30 days, Apple will assumedly continue this customer onboarding effort for new regional customers – as it also helps developers create easy-to-understand applications.

During a WWDC promotional video, an Apple Design Evangelist, Sarah McClanahan, said, “visionOS is designed with people at the centre of the experience to ensure interactions are comfortable, and your apps should be too.”

Accessibility is critical for Apple’s future. In an enterprise space, this consideration could quickly assist with helping to grow adoption rates; in the Designing for visionOS document, Apple highlighted how Vision Pro is gaining an increased number of accessibility features to ensure the next stage of general computing is ready for all users.

In the document, Apple highlighted how services such as VoiceOver, Switch Control, Dwell Control, Guided Access, and Head Pointer are already available on the OS to support accessible app development.

Developer Updates to Opitmise Workplace Utilisation

Incremental, minor updates are bringing vital improvements to Vision Pro interaction, optimising the device for specific workflows. In a developer video, Apple highlighted the interactive abilities of RealityKit audio, simulation, and rendering features, showing how a user can manipulate and control 3D assets with hand tracking—a perfect opportunity to enhance digital twin interactions.

The new RealityKit features are exclusive to the new visionOS 2 framework and are ready for various situations and XR environments.

Moreover, updates to visionOS ARKit object tracking will support developers in creating immersive experiences that react according to a user’s real-world surroundings. ARKit for visionOS 2 can track real-world objects—such as objects on a desk—and add immersive details when a user interacts with them, such as informational pop-ups.

In a promotional video, Apple highlights how users must create a digital twin of a chosen real-world object. This twin becomes a reference for creating XR interactions related to the original real-world object, opening a significant number of potential location-based training, education, or marketing experiences.

During WWDC, Apple also updated its Universal Scene Description and MaterialX interfaces. These interfaces streamline 3D content creation and delivery by simplifying XR developers’ expectations between iOS, macOS, and visionOS frameworks, pushing Apple’s spatial computing towards a first-party hardware interoperable future.

On the other hand, Apple is also dropping a significant update to support WebXR services—browser-based immersive experiences that work regardless of the end device. For Vision Pro, the WebXR integrations allow users to access a more excellent range of immersive experiences directly via the Safari browser, negating the official App Store. This is a big move because OpenXR Khronos updated its OpenXR API earlier this year to optimise its support of cross-platform AR/VR/MR applications, including significant headset vendors such as Meta.

Fresh Enterprise APIs for Vision Pro

The foundational and technical elements featured here provide a framework to boost workplace operations. For example, Apple teased the WWDC audience with immersive virtual desktop features, and to support this, the firm rolled out new developer considerations.

Apple has enhanced the sensor access and visual capabilities of the Vision Pro enterprise API. By granting access to the primary camera and improving capture and streaming between Vision Pro users, they aim to enhance video feeds for collaboration. The primary camera can now capture input data, passthrough, and wearer-composite feed, providing developers with more flexibility for remote communications.

Additionally, Apple has introduced a spatial barcode and QR code scanning framework to support immersive experiences and location-based content. This enhancement enables Vision Pro devices to scan barcodes and QR codes more efficiently, allowing users to access immersive experiences and location-based content.

The enterprise API updates also include support for Apple Neural Engine, enhancing the machine learning process on Vision Pro. Moreover, Vision Pro is gaining improved object-tracking capabilities for better content interaction and streaming, empowering enterprise users to customize application performance for intensive workloads. Please note that the enterprise APIs are accessible only to Apple Developer Program or Apple Developer Enterprise Program account holders upon request.

After several beta testing stages, the visionOS update is now accessible to Vision Pro users. Apple intends to roll out the update this fall, and it will be free for all users. While Apple has not revealed all the new features of visionOS 2, the company is emphasizing new tools for 3D spatial recordings, new hand gestures for the Home View space, Mac Virtual Display optimization, Travel Mode, and Guest User updates.

Apple Vision Pro International Pre Orders Open this Month

Apple has announced that the Vision Pro will be available for pre-order in eight new regions globally this month. The release will enable selected areas to access the device by early next month.

Pre-orders for China (mainland) will open for 24,502 CNY, Japan at 484,415 JPY, and Singapore at 4,725 SGD starting this Thursday, June 13, at 6 p.m. PT. The product is set to be released on Friday, June 28.

Apple is also opening pre-orders for Australia at 5,195 AUD, Canada at 4,725 CAD, France at 3,245 EUR, Germany at 3,245 EUR, and the United Kingdom at 2,785 GBP later this month on Friday, June 28, at 5 a.m. PT. The general availability will start on Friday, July 12.

The product includes accessories such as a solo knit band, a dual loop band, a personalized light seal with two light seal cushions, an Apple Vision Pro cover, a polishing cloth, a battery, a USB-C charge cable, and a USB-C power adapter. Additionally, the package includes ZEISS Optical Prescription inserts that improve clarity.

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