What is visionOS? The first operating system that literally bends reality

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Apple introduced the long-awaited mixed reality headset called Vision Pro at its WWDC 2023 developer conference. It caught the attention of many with its features and astronomical price, but the software powering it is equally fascinating.

What is visionOS?

VisionOS is the world’s first spatial operating system that draws inspiration from MacOS, iOS, and iPadOS. It incorporates certain interfaces from these platforms and displays them in a 3D environment for further interaction. This provides a mixed reality experience, allowing users to enlarge applications and work with them beyond the confines of the display, thereby enhancing productivity.

In practice, multiple windows with open applications can “float” in front of and around the user, and normal interaction is possible. Besides moving the windows, users can resize them individually as needed. Apple even claims that the maximum size of a displayed window is equivalent to 30 meters in real life.

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Photo by Apple

Connecting two worlds

During FaceTime conversations conducted with the new headset, it will be possible to display the speaker directly in the room, accompanied by spatial sound as a standard feature.

Furthermore, visionOS can also respond to natural light in the room. Another interesting feature of the headset is EyeSight – on the outer side, there is a secondary display that reflects the eye movements of the person wearing the headset in real-time. The entire headset can be controlled solely through eye movements, finger gestures, and voice commands.

A plethora of applications right from the start

Upon its release, Vision Pro is expected to be compatible with and fully support applications such as Adobe Lightroom, Microsoft Office and Teams, Zoom, and many others. All these applications should be available through the new App Store, which Apple claims will feature over a hundred game titles from Apple Arcade right from the launch. Naturally, Apple’s own pre-installed applications like Safari, Apple Music, and Notes are included.

For now, Vision Pro is the only device that will run visionOS. However, it is now up to developers to prepare their applications for the launch, ensuring that customers can enjoy them in the familiar way they are accustomed to.

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