Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro headset, scheduled for an early 2024 release, is expected to offer users not only an immersive mixed reality experience but also fitness applications and a unique co-presence feature, according to sources familiar with the matter. Although these features were not ready in time for the headset’s June reveal, Apple’s efforts to expand the capabilities of the device demonstrate the company’s commitment to delivering a comprehensive and innovative product.
Former Apple employees have disclosed that the tech giant had explored partnerships with renowned sportswear brand Nike to develop workout apps specifically tailored for the Vision Pro headset. The fitness applications were intended to enhance the user’s exercise routines and would have included features such as breathing measurement during yoga sessions and tracking body movements for activities like tai chi. However, it appears that these fitness apps were not finalized in time for the initial reveal of the headset.
The Information, a reputable technology news outlet, reported that Apple had also considered creating face cushions designed for sweaty, high-intensity workouts, indicating the company’s intention to accommodate fitness enthusiasts. Furthermore, Apple employees reportedly contemplated enabling Vision Pro wearers to interact with content while using a stationary bike, expanding the possibilities for multitasking during exercise.
While Apple let some attendees at its recent Worldwide Developers Conference try out a meditation app with the Vision Pro headset, the company had additional wellness apps in the works, according to The Information. Among these was a yoga app that utilized the device’s cameras to measure a user’s breathing by observing their chest and torso, as well as a tai chi app.
The decision to withhold certain features during the June reveal might have been influenced by several limitations and challenges that Apple was working to overcome. The Vision Pro headset’s external battery pack and the fragility of its front-facing glass screen were reportedly a cause for concern. Apple may have deemed these components potentially vulnerable to damage from accidental bumps against furniture or walls. Additionally, the headset’s hand tracking capabilities were considered less accurate, and there were no mixed reality-specific games revealed for the device at that time.
However, Apple has several months before the Vision Pro headset hits the market, providing ample opportunity to address these challenges and refine the device’s capabilities. With its commitment to empowering developers, Apple aims to offer a robust ecosystem of apps for the Vision Pro. Developers will have access to the necessary tools to create applications for the headset, and iOS and iPadOS apps will be automatically transferred to the device, ensuring a diverse range of content upon its release.
Apart from fitness applications, The Information’s report suggests that Apple has been exploring a co-presence feature for the Vision Pro headset. This feature would utilize advanced body tracking technology to create a virtual representation of the person with whom the user is communicating. While Apple showcased a similar feature during its recent Worldwide Developers Conference, which created a digital “persona” of the user during FaceTime calls, the co-presence feature aims to incorporate the full body of the person being represented virtually. This development has the potential to revolutionize remote communication and virtual meetings.