During the iPhone 15 Pro launch event in September, Apple debuted a 3D video capture feature called Spatial Video, which the company claimed would unlock an immersive experience when viewed back on the forthcoming Vision Pro mixed reality headset.
Using two of the three cameras, Spatial Video records record simultaneously to capture the footage in 3D with all the requisite depth of field information. That means, potentially, a really lifelike experience when watching the videos back on the headset – out early next year.
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Thinking of how the feature could bring a little added magic to Vision Pro, I described it as “a bit like a time machine where you can drop in and out of some of the best moments of your life.”
Now, the first hands-on (or heads) on previews of the feature are in, and according to the reporters bestowed with a glance, the Spatial Video feature may live up to the hype. CNET‘s Scott Stein called the experience, now available via the iOS 17.2 beta, as “undeniably vivid”
He remarked: “I’m looking at a plate of sushi hovering in front of me in 3D. The chef finishes off toppings on yellowtail rolls and tuna, talking to me as she works. It looks vivid. It looks real. The amazing part is that I just shot this video myself, moments earlier, on an iPhone 15 Pro. And now it’s a VR experience I’m watching in beautiful 3D on Apple’s Vision Pro headset.”
Of watching the other videos Apple provided, Scott remarked he felt like he was “peeking in on their lives, which is weird and intimate. But the vividness is undeniable.”
Daring Fireball said: “I’m blown away once again” after watching videos they shot on an iPhone 15 Pro. Erstwhile tech journalist Joanna Stern added: “Apple showed me some other spatial videos. In one, a dad was telling his young kids a story in the back of an RV. It was so lifelike and cozy that it almost creeped me out. Why am I spying on this random family? That’s obviously the big appeal here: spatial videos create intimacy in ways 2D photos and videos don’t.”
It’ll be sometime early next year before consumers, rather than carefully selected members of the media get to experience this feature in the wild. But it certainly appears like Spatial Video will live up to the hype. From these early hands-on impressions, it might even be a little too good.