Apple pitches Vision Pro as ‘ultimate entertainment device’


Apple Vision Pro Environments
Environments are dynamic vistas in your space that change as the day progresses.
Photo: Apple

New entertainment experiences launching with Apple Vision Pro on February 2 should be dazzling, as users can turn any space into a personal theater, enjoy more than 150 3D movies and experience “the future of entertainment” with Immersive Video, Apple said Tuesday.

“Apple Vision Pro is the ultimate entertainment device,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “Users can turn any place into the best seat in the house, enjoy personal concerts and adventures with Apple Immersive Video, interact with lifelike prehistoric creatures in Encounter Dinosaurs, and even land on the surface of the moon using Environments. It’s unlike anything users have ever seen before and we can’t wait for them to experience it for themselves.”

Apple lays out entertainment options for Apple Vision Pro users from Disney+ and others

Unveiled at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the Apple Vision Pro headset remains a tough sell, both due to its $3,499 price and the lack of an undeniably killer experience that makes the device irresistible to consumers. To address that second problem, Apple laid out the various entertainment experiences available on Apple Vision Pro beginning February 2 — launch day for the “spatial computing” device.

Apple says Vision Pro brings experiences alive by providing more pixels for each eye than 4K TV, plus advanced Spatial Audio. Apple’s press materials also reminded us of the company’s streaming partnership with Disney, emphasizing the studio’s content. Cupertino mentioned numerous streaming services, below, but left out Netflix (though it previously said the service should work on the device).

“At Disney, we’re constantly searching for new ways to entertain, inform, and inspire by combining exceptional creativity with groundbreaking technology to create truly remarkable experiences,” said Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

“Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary platform that will bring our fans closer to the characters and stories they love while immersing them more deeply in all that Disney has to offer. We’re proud to once again be partnering with Apple to bring extraordinary new Disney experiences to people around the world,” he added.

‘Breakthrough technologies’

Vision Pro simulator shot showing YouTube video full-screen
Cult of Mac writer D. Griffin Jones made a YouTube video full-screen in the Vision Pro simulator. “Putting a YouTube video full screen hides the Safari toolbar, but it doesn’t dismiss or hide any other windows you have open,” he said, adding that the Netflix website was unresponsive when he tried to use it.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple Vision Pro pumps up color and clarity with a pair of ultra-high-resolution micro-OLED displays that pack a combined 23 million pixels with wide color, high dynamic range and Dolby Vision, Apple said.

“The new R1 chip streams images to each display every 12 milliseconds — 8x faster than the blink of an eye — while the M2 chip delivers breakthrough, power-efficient performance across its CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, and other custom technologies,” Apple said. “Vision Pro supports two hours of general use, up to 2.5 hours for video playback, and all-day use when the external battery is connected to power with a USB-C charging cable.”

A Spatial Audio system with Dolby Atmos and lossless audio provides rich sound to the headset. (Vision Pro also works well with AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case, Apple noted.)

Dynamic apps and Environments in visionOS

Vision Pro Environment - lake
Make your Environment a peaceful lake vista. Or a moonscape. Or whatever.
Photo: Apple

visionOS blends digital content with a user’s physical space to create a canvas for apps, games and other spatial experiences. You can size apps how you like and place them anywhere.

You can also transform your space with Environments, which Apples described as “beautiful, dynamic vistas with realistic soundscapes that can automatically evolve based on the time of day.” You can stream audio while you enjoy your Environment, such as a starry night sky from Yosemite National Park. And you can adjust the immersion level, including ambient-sound volume, by rotating Vision Pro’s Digital Crown.

visionOS supports several technologies unique to the Apple ecosystem, like SharePlay, so you can watch videos, listen to music and play games with others on Apple devices.

And then there’s the new stuff:

visionOS also introduces several new features and technologies unique to Vision Pro: Users can enable Travel Mode to stabilize visuals for use on planes, and Guest User to share specific apps and experiences with family and friends, such as Photos or Safari.

Here’s how Apple describes the viewing experience:

The viewing experience on Apple Vision Pro is unparalleled: When a user begins watching a video, the lights around them automatically dim as the content moves closer to them. Videos can be positioned anywhere in their space or placed in an Environment for the most cinematic experience. With Environments, users can scale videos beyond the dimensions of their room, so the screen feels 100 feet wide, all while preserving the frame rate and aspect ratio. And there is no need for a remote: Users simply invoke controls with their eyes, hands, or voice.

Apple TV app and streaming apps galore

MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and Vision Pro
Watch MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
Photo: Apple

Apple also pointed out the Apple TV app’s Cinema Environment:

The Apple TV app also features the Cinema Environment, enabling viewers to transform any space into their personal theater. Users can even choose their favorite seat from the floor or balcony, and the front, middle, or back row.

You can watch videos via web browsers and also download and stream videos from many streaming-service apps: Disney+, ESPN, MLB, PGA Tour, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, Fubo, Crunchyroll, Red Bull TV, IMAX, TikTok and the 2023 App Store Award-winning Mubi.

Apple made special note of Disney+:

With Disney+, subscribers can watch thousands of TV shows and films from four iconic environments with vivid details: the Disney+ Theater, inspired by the historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood; the Scare Floor from Pixar’s Monsters Inc.; Marvel’s Avengers Tower overlooking downtown Manhattan; and the cockpit of Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder, facing a binary sunset on the planet Tatooine from the Star Wars galaxy.

More than 150 3D movies

3D movies on Vision Pro
When Vision Pro launches, you’ll be able to watch more than 150 3D movies.
Photo: Apple

As of February 2, Apple Vision Pro users can watch more than 150 3D movies, including all-time favorites and recent releases, such as Avatar: The Way of Water, Dune, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Apple said.

And you can rent or purchase 3D versions of movies, too, in the Apple TV app and other apps like Disney+. Both 2D and 3D movies roll on Vision Pro with Spatial Audio and in an Environment if you wish.

New: Apple Immersive Video

Apple Immersive Video - Prehistoric Planet
If you like dinosaurs, check out what Apple did with Prehistoric Planet for Vision Pro. And an exclusive app, below.
Photo: Apple

A new format called Apple Immersive Video “features 180-degree 3D 8K recordings captured with Spatial Audio to transport viewers to the center of a place, moment or story,” Apple said.

At launch, you can get these on the Apple TV app at no additional cost, according to Apple:

Alicia Keys: Rehearsal Room offers a rare glimpse into the Grammy winner’s creative process with this intimate rehearsal session featuring renditions of her hits “No One,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “You Don’t Know My Name.” Users can also access these performances as a special EP exclusively on Apple Music when it debuts.

Adventure follows pioneering athletes as they take on awe-inspiring challenges in some of the world’s most sensational locations. In the first episode, Highlining, viewers step into thin air with highliner Faith Dickey as she takes on her biggest challenge yet: a daring traverse 3,000 feet above Norway’s breathtaking fjords.

Wild Life takes viewers up close and personal with some of the most charismatic creatures on the planet to uncover what makes them unique, featuring the experts who know them best. The first episode brings viewers into the world’s largest rhinoceros sanctuary where a former police captain has dedicated her life to rescuing, raising and rewilding these gentle giants.

Prehistoric Planet Immersive. The award-winning Apple Original docuseries from Jon Favreau and the producers of Planet Earth returns with an immersive film that transports viewers into the daily lives of dinosaurs, and follows the struggles and triumphs of these majestic animals amid spectacular scenery.

Exclusive dinosaur app

Users can also enjoy a Vision Pro exclusive that comes preloaded: the free new Encounter Dinosaurs app. You can peer into the Cretaceous period of 66 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Executive-produced by Jon Favreau and inspired by Prehistoric Planet, Encounter Dinosaurs lets you interact with them.

Source: Apple


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