An Apple Vision Pro safety feature baked into its visionOS software means that you won't be able to move more than 1.5 meters during fully immersive experiences, a feature one industry player called a "super bummer" of a move.
As noted by Hans Karlsson on Twitter, Apple Vision Pro will let developers create completely immersive VR experiences for users. Like devices such as the Meta Quest, these will come with a safety feature to stop you from colliding with objects in the room that you can't see because you're trapped in the metaverse.
However, Apple's Vision Pro safety feature is much more restrictive, leading Karlsonn to suggest that Apple Vision Pro will be VR "for couch potatoes."
Apple Vision Pro and anti-collision
"When you start a fully immersive experience, visionOS defines a system boundary that extends 1.5 meters from the initial position of the person’s head," Apple's developer guidelines for visionOS state. "If their head moves outside of that zone, the system automatically stops the immersive experience and turns on the external video again. This feature is an assistant to help prevent someone from colliding with objects."
"I just learned that Apple has crippled VR so that it stops when you move more than 1,5 meters," Karlsson lamented. "So Apple VR is for couch potatoes. No real volumetric video possible then outside the couch zone. No table tennis, nothing that makes you move outside a small box. Super bummer."
He went on to describe his own 3m x 3m VR play space that was already too cramped to make good use of room-scale VR. Meta Quest 2, and we would assume the upcoming Meta Quest 3, offers a Roomscale guardian mode of up to 15 meters square for immersive VR that lets you wander around with your headset on, a key advantage for virtual reality.
Some commenters agreed with Karlsson, describing the move as "boring as hell." "Knowing Apple they're just doing this out of spite, there's no practical or technological reason to introduce such an arbitrary limitation," another stated. However, some people said they agreed with the move, while others still suggested that this might be a preliminary restriction that could be changed at a later date.
Personally, I'm all for anti-collision, as I'd rather not throw myself through a window or coffee table during a casual afternoon of No Man's Sky.
me trying to pet the dinosaur in Apple Vision Pro #wwdc23 pic.twitter.com/v3J0p1ji1ZJune 5, 2023
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9