When you reach a certain age, Christmas is usually a time for making sure you’ve bought all the presents for friends and family, followed by eating as much as you can until it’s bedtime.
Yet when you become a parent, your additional job is to make sure that you capture enough photos and videos to share with family and friends throughout — something that I did incessantly last month.
This wasn’t just for sharing what our newborn son was doing with his countless presents though — it was also to record as much as I could in Spatial Video, a feature introduced for iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max with iOS 17.2.
For those unaware, this new feature uses the main and Ultra Wide camera lenses to record two 1080p videos at once, which are then merged into one. So when you view the video on a Vision Pro headset, you’ll see a 3D video.
Due to the amount of Spatial Videos I've already taken so far, it may surprise you to know that I'm not planning on buying a Vision Pro — at least, not yet.
Cherished Memories in Vision Pro
First of all, no one should spend $3,500 just to relive certain memories through a new video format, but Vision Pro looks like it could be one of the few products that justifies using mixed reality in our daily lives. Back at WWDC 2023, demos were showcased of an Apple TV Plus show extending across a bedroom — or joining a group call as if the other recipients were in the same room as you. A lot of it was very impressive, and since then, many developers have come to praise what the headset could bring to third-party apps.
Apple has done a smart thing with Spatial Video on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max — it’s allowed owners to use this feature, and in turn, helps them to imagine what these videos could look like on the Vision Pro. It’s the curiosity that’s the big appeal here, and I’m part of that.
Over the holidays in December, my wife and I visited Santa’s grotto with our newborn son, walking past the countless Christmas trees and penguin animatronics singing festive songs. It was here that I took a bunch of Spatial Videos right in my iPhone’s camera app.
There’s nothing different when you play them back on your Apple device — there’s just a ‘Spatial’ label in the top left, but it’s the fact that you’re ‘future-proofing’ these until the day comes when you’re watching these on Apple’s headset. You’re also bookmarking these videos as well, as you’re going to be cherishing those moments in a completely different way from what we’ve been doing for years. Instead of looking at a 6-inch display, you’ll feel like you could touch that memory when you wear Vision Pro and see these spatial videos come to life.
But I still won’t buy one
Whenever Vision Pro is released this year, I’ll be sure to book an appointment to try one out. I want to play as many of these Spatial Videos as possible during this hands-on — but I do fear that there’s a slight chance, that once I play a video of Christmas with my son, emotions will hit me like a wave, and I’ll suddenly be plotting how to buy one.
So I’m trying to be realistic now - even though I have no knowledge of when the headset may be coming. I want to set expectations for myself that, this is a product that is only going to get better, and cheaper, as the years go by. Only when a Vision Pro of the future costs less than $1000 will consider buying one.
For now, though, I’ll wait for an appointment to try one out, marvel at how good my Spatial Videos look on the headset, and then simply wait. I’m sure the experience of using one will be incredible — but I’ll stick to capturing a bunch of Spatial Videos until I can afford a Vision Pro. Then one day, I’ll be able to relive those special moments with my son at his first Christmas all over again and marvel at how fast he grew in the intervening years.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.