The Apple Vision Pro reveal at WWDC 2023 was filled to the brim with sparkling, magical features that caught our eye. However, while Apple seemed focused on productivity and social interaction, some use cases were noticeably missing or glazed over quickly (e.g., fitness and gaming)
According to a new report from The Information, there are quite a few apps and features Cupertino-based tech giant either chose not to reveal publicly or cut out entirely. As it turns out, Apple hesitated about diving into fitness because of the Vision Pro's cumbersome battery pack. Plus, the headset's fragile glass screen may not survive accidental bumps. As for gaming, Apple is reportedly concerned that the hand tracking may lack the required high precision.
Let's dive into all the apps, features and ideas that Apple reportedly planned to add to the Vision Pro, but didn't make the cut.
7 Vision Pro apps, features and ideas that got kicked to the curb
1. Tai chi and yoga apps didn't make the reveal. Apple was reportedly working on rolling out low-impact workout apps, but the company made no mention of them. Taking advantage of the headset's downward-facing cameras, the apps would measure users' breathing by observing the rise and fall of their chest.
2. Apple considered collaborating with Nike. According to former employees who worked on the Vision Pro, the Cupertino-based tech giant considered inking deals with popular fitness brands like Nike to garner trust from health-and-wellness conscious users. It's unclear where Apple stands with this idea today.
3. There was a discussion of using better material for workout apps. High-intensity exercising and gaming can make you work up a sweat, and if you don't have a suitable face cushion that can absorb all of that perspiration, the experience will be uncomfortable.
4. Apple looked at AR/VR interaction for cycling. For those who enjoy working out on stationary bikes, the Cupertino-based tech giant purportedly looked at how users can interact with AR/VR artifacts while pedaling away.
5. Full-body avatars were supposed to be a thing. At WWDC, Apple delved into "Persona," a 3D simulacrum of users' faces that represents users during FaceTime calls with Vision Pro. However, Apple's reportedly working on a feature that involves tracking users' full body movements. (The Vision Pro is capable of full-body tracking, but it's not ready for primetime. According to a leaked Slack conversation, it won't even be available when the Vision Pro ships next year.)
6. Apple planned to put "brow cams" on the Vision Pro. To accurately track users' facial expressions, the Cupertino-based tech giant planned on adding eyebrow cameras to the Vision Pro, but the company later scrapped the idea.
7. Drag-and-drop Mac apps were cut. It would be cool if you could drag and drop Mac apps into one's 3D space, allowing you to run Mac software on the Vision Pro, but according to sources close to the matter, Apple killed this feature because visionOS couldn't handle such a task.
While some of these may be kicked out from the Vision Pro forever, others may arrive with the current-gen headset at a later-than-expected date or in future iterations of the AR/VR device.
It's worth noting that some lucky journalists got to experience a courtside pro basketball game while demoing the Vision Pro. Apple never publicly announced that the headset is capable of running live, immersive sports events, but there's a good chance that the company will add support for such experiences sooner than later.
The Information says that the Vision Pro appears to be "far from ready," so it'll be interesting to see how the first-gen headset fares among the masses once it's released to the public next year.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!