The iPhone 15 Pro is a 3D camera
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the first Apple smartphones to capture spatial videos for Apple Vision Pro.
It was the only news from yesterday's Wonderlust event related to Apple's mixed reality headset.
"Coming later this year, iPhone 15 Pro will add a new dimension to video capture with the ability to record spatial video for Apple Vision Pro. Users will be able to capture precious moments in three dimensions and relive those memories with incredible depth on Apple Vision Pro when it is available early next year in the U.S.," Apple wrote in a press release.
During the presentation of the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple's Greg Joswiak explained that Apple is using the iPhone Pro 15's Ultra Wide and Main cameras to create a "three dimensional video". He said that the recorded memories could later be relived using Apple Vision Pro. "Spatial video lets you feel like you’re right back to that moment in time," Joswiak said.
Apple Vision Pro is still coming in early 2024
Apple Vision Pro also lets you capture spatial video, but it's easier and more natural to use an iPhone that's always with you. Apple has confirmed that you can share spatial videos with other Vision Pro users if you don't have a headset yourself. Apple did not say whether you can watch the videos on other devices.
It is also unclear whether it will be possible to take spatial photos in addition to spatial videos, but technically this should not be a problem. At the presentation of Vision Pro, Apple explicitly talked about taking spatial videos and photos.
The new feature on iPhone 15 Pro and Max will be available later this year. Apple Vision Pro is still scheduled for release in early 2024. This was confirmed by Tim Cook during the event. Some features, including EyeSight, are still being worked on, according to an anonymous developer.
Apple brings immersive video capture to the masses
Apple did not go into details about the spatial video capturing technology, but did visualize what the recordings could look like with Apple Vision Pro (see video below). According to this, it would be a conventional rectangular format with a limited field of view but stereoscopic depth effect. Immersive 180-degree video would not be possible, but we'll have to wait until Apple unveils the feature in detail.
Still, it is innovative and could give immersive media a boost, as I explained in my first analysis of the Apple Vision Pro. The iPhone 15 Pro will sell well, as will its successors that support the spatial capturing feature. This will make the iPhone the first widely used camera for immersive photos and videos. Nothing like this has existed before.