As Apple prepares to release its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset, the world is on the cusp of embracing the era of spatial computing. The Vision Pro, a revolutionary device that combines elements of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), promises to redefine the way we interact with technology. With a price tag of $3,500, the Vision Pro is expected to be a niche product initially. However, history has shown us that Apple has the power to transform niche products into mainstream sensations, as they did with the iPhone. In this article, we delve into the concept of spatial computing, explore the implications of Apple’s Vision Pro, and examine the potential impact on our daily lives.
Spatial computing is a fascinating concept that represents the convergence of the physical world and a virtual world created by technology. It enables seamless interaction between humans and machines, allowing them to manipulate objects and spaces holistically. Incorporating elements of AR and AI, spatial computing has the potential to revolutionize human-computer interaction across various devices such as cars, watches, and more. Cathy Hackl, a seasoned industry consultant, believes that spatial computing will enable devices to perceive and understand the world in ways never before possible.
With the Vision Pro hitting the market, Apple is set to introduce a wide array of custom-designed apps for the headset. There will be a range of options available, including television networks, video streaming services, video games, and educational apps. Prominent online meeting tools such as Zoom have also developed apps for the Vision Pro, further expanding its functionality. Nonetheless, some concerns linger regarding the potential negative impact of spatial computing.
While spatial computing holds immense potential, it also raises concerns about the further proliferation of screen addiction and isolation. If the Vision Pro and other spatial computing devices captivate users to the point where they become dependent on the augmented reality experience, it could exacerbate existing digital dependencies. Moreover, constantly perceiving the world through the goggles may alter users’ perception of reality, making life seem dull without the immersive experience. As with any breakthrough technology, striking a balance between embracing innovation and maintaining a healthy relationship with the real world will be of paramount importance.
Apple is not alone in exploring the realm of spatial computing. Google has been developing a videoconferencing service called “Project Starline,” which aims to create a lifelike virtual presence for participants in different physical locations. Additionally, Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, has been selling the Quest headset, which lays the foundation for spatial computing. However, unlike Apple, both Google and Facebook have yet to position their devices explicitly as spatial computing platforms. Apple’s marketing prowess and consumer allegiance may play a significant role in accelerating the adoption of spatial computing.
Interestingly, the concept of spatial computing has been around for over two decades. In a research paper published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, Simon Greenwold highlighted the primitive form of spatial computing exhibited by automatically flushing toilets. Greenwold argued that toilets sense users’ movements and engage with the physical space—a rudimentary example of spatial computing. However, the Vision Pro surpasses these rudimentary beginnings with its advanced features, including high-resolution screens capable of playing back three-dimensional video recordings.
As Apple’s Vision Pro enters the market, spatial computing is poised to become the next technological revolution. The seamless integration of the physical and virtual worlds opens up a plethora of possibilities for human-machine interaction. While concerns about addiction and altered perception arise, navigating the era of spatial computing will require individuals to be mindful of managing their relationship with technology. As we embark on this new frontier, only time will tell how spatial computing will shape our future.