When Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset goes on sale on February 2 it will bring with it an App Store full of apps. Some will come preinstalled of course, but it's the apps that new owners can download via that store that could make or break Apple's Spatial Computing vision. Now, we have confirmation that there will be one big business app ready for launch day, and it'll be music to the ears of anyone who has been trying to get work to expense them a Vision Pro.
That app is Zoom, the company that burst onto the scene during the COVID-19 lockdowns and then became the go-to option for remote workers and businesses around the globe. It's a huge app for owners of Apple's platforms already and is installed on many a Mac, iPhone, and iPad. There's even support for CarPlay which isn't something we can take for granted. Now, we know there will be a Vision Pro app available as well, and it'll take full advantage of all of the bells and whistles Apple's new headset will have to offer.
At the top of the list of features is the support for Personas, a feature that creates a lifelike digital recreation of the Vision Pro's wearer complete with real-time facial expressions. And that's just the start of what Vision Pro-toting Zoom users can look forward to when their $3,499 headset arrives.
A spacial experience
Zoom announced its new app via a blog post in which it confirmed that its new app will be one of those in the visionOS App Store on day one. "Zoom’s app for Apple Vision Pro seamlessly blends video conferencing with users’ physical space, blurring the lines of in-person and remote meetings with the infinite canvas on Apple Vision Pro, helping distributed teams feel more connected and included," the press release explained.
The real key to Zoom on Vision Pro is the way it will make use of Apple's features as well as leverage the digital workspace that a mixed reality experience can offer. That starts with Personals, where "users are represented by an authentic spatial representation of themselves in Apple Vision Pro, allowing other meeting participants to see their facial and hand movements." The spatial experience continues with Zoom creating "an immersive experience that can be scaled to the perfect size, which is ideal for users wanting to feel like they are in the same room as their colleagues and customers, without the need for additional physical equipment or setup."
There is other 3D space magic going on here, too. Zoom will allow objects to be shared while another key feature will be real-world pinning of meeting participants. Zoom says that users will be able to pin up to five participants anywhere in their physical space and then remove their background for an even more immersive experience. It could prove to be the closest thing to having a real meeting in a real meeting room we've seen to date, a real boon for remote and hybrid workers who might miss a connection with their colleagues.
Of course, this all relies on you having a Vision Pro headset first. It'll go on sale at the end of this week with that $3,499 price getting buyers the 256GB model. 512GB and 1TB versions are also available for those who want a little extra breathing room, too.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.