One Step Closer To A Mixed Reality

In the early 2000s, “This is the year of mobile” was a widely shared belief among business and technology leaders -- a vision realized largely thanks to Apple's iPhone.

Now, with the new Apple Vision Pro available in the U.S. on Feb. 2, are we on the cusp of a similar transformative era?

While the journey toward a mobile-like disruption with Vision Pro involves unique challenges and steps, its potential to revolutionize our mixed-reality (MR) future is evident. Here's why.

Apple's Vision Pro stands out from the “goggles” predating it. This device marks a major step forward in terms of usability, technological advancement -- and yes, price. (Expect it to be more affordable in the not-too-distant future.)

As per the latest reports from Apple, Vision Pro is priced at $3,499 in the U.S., with its release date set for Feb. 2. Pre-orders for the device will start on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.



The excitement around Vision Pro mirrors the mobile revolution, positioning it as more than just a device. It is an entry into a mixed-reality world -- transforming work, education, health care and beyond.

Imagine putting on glasses and seeing the world change around you. Information and imagination become part of your reality.

It is crucial for industry leaders to now begin exploring Vision Pro and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to stay ahead in this evolving landscape.

With the release of Apple's Vision Pro SDK, tech companies can now create Vision Pro-compatible applications.

While apps built for the iPhone that support iPad rendering and use SwiftUI along with Apple's designated UI components will automatically be compatible with visionOS, there is more to the story.

To truly harness the potential of Vision Pro, developers must specifically target this new form factor,  integrating technologies like Vision Pro SDK, Unity, ARKit, RealityKit and TestFlight.

By doing this, developers can craft applications that significantly elevate user experiences by including volumes viewable from any angle and windows and spaces that can fully immerse users into unbounded 3D content.

Reality Composer Pro, a new tool in Xcode, simplifies 3D content optimization for visionOS apps. It allows developers to preview and refine 3D models, animations, images and sounds for optimal performance on Vision Pro.

In addition, the visionOS simulator offers interactive testing for different room layouts and lighting conditions.

This framework also includes built-in support for Apple's accessibility features, making spatial computing and visionOS apps accessible to all.

A Shot in the Arm for Health Care

The health-care sector will be among the most profoundly impacted by AR and VR.

The global augmented and virtual-reality health-care market -- valued at $2.4 billion in 2022 -- is projected to skyrocket to around $14.07 billion by 2032, according to Precedence Research.

This staggering growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4%, is a clear indicator of the burgeoning potential of MR in health care.

The Vision Pro offers myriad opportunities. Imagine therapy sessions as calm, personalized spaces. Therapists can use this tool to create environments specifically designed for each patient, transforming the approach to mental health care.

Custom, immersive settings could offer breakthroughs in treating conditions such as anxiety and PTSD, far beyond what traditional therapies can achieve.

In medical education, the implications are equally significant. Vision Pro can offer future medical professionals a safe, virtual environment to practice complex surgeries — a kind of training unimaginable just a few years ago. This will enhance surgical precision and patient safety, ushering in a new era in medical training.

Sudden Impact From Ed Tech to Ecommerce

In the education market, global AR and VR are estimated to hit $14.2 billion by 2028, according to Globe Newswire. This signals a shift toward more immersive learning experiences.

Imagine history lessons where students can virtually walk through ancient civilizations, bringing education to life in ways previously unimaginable.

This trend is not just a fleeting moment; it's part of a growing ed-tech market, expected to reach over $288.4 billion by 2031. By integrating Vision Pro, we can meet and exceed the evolving demands of this dynamic sector.

The potential extends to ecommerce as well. Here, AR and VR experiences are reshaping how consumers interact with products.

According to Global Market Estimates, the market is on track to grow significantly with a CAGR of 25% from 2021 to 2026, with AR-enhanced product experiences proving to be 200% more engaging than their non-AR counterparts.

Vision Pro can elevate these experiences, offering customers a new level of interaction and immersion.

Navigating Challenges for Vision Pro Adoption

Adopting Vision Pro's innovation poses challenges. Key among them is the device's integration into everyday life -- a hurdle the iPhone overcame by combining multiple utilities into one indispensable gadget.

Vision Pro, while groundbreaking, initially presents as a niche product with limited daily applications.

To foster broader appeal, its development must focus on enhancing practical utility across diverse sectors, not just gaming or professional use.

Another critical aspect is affordability. Vision Pro must strike a balance between advanced features and affordability to encourage widespread adoption. Achieving this involves not only lowering costs over time, but demonstrating unmistakable value in everyday contexts -- from education to health care.

Lastly, successfully blending Vision Pro with existing infrastructures requires technical adaptability, strategic foresight, rigorous testing and extensive experimentation. This demands clear communication, training and a commitment to innovation to ensure Vision Pro is effectively utilized in all sectors.

What It Means for Tech Companies

Beyond consumer adoption, tech companies face their own set of challenges embracing Vision Pro. ''

Companies must invest in training their teams in advanced tools like Unity, ARKit and RealityKit. Strategic partnerships and effective collaborations will be essential in navigating this new tech landscape.

In addition, educating clients and engaging them in the MR world -- along with focused market analysis and positioning -- are critical steps.

Tackling these challenges head on will be vital for tech companies to thrive in the era of Vision Pro and mixed reality.

As the year begins, tech companies worldwide face a readiness challenge in adopting a clear vision and strategy with Vision Pro.

This device offers a path to profoundly impact lives by redefining health care, education and other key sectors.

Vision Pro opens a realm of new possibilities, empowering us to shape the future. It will not happen this year but as mobile has taught, we are well on our way.

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