Is Vision Pro the next big computing platform?

Apple's recent announcement of their highly anticipated mixed reality and spatial computing headset, Vision Pro, marks a significant step in the evolution of computing platforms.

Recently Apple announced their highly anticipated mixed reality and spatial computing headset named Vision Pro. There had been many rumors for years about Apple developing their own virtual reality device and now we finally saw what their take on the matter is. It’s about creating a new platform for Spatial Computing.

So, what is Spatial Computing? Or virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality for that matter?

In short: They are kind of about the same thing. You can think about Spatial Computing as the higher-level concept – using the real-life space we are in as our environment and placing in it digital objects to interact with. More on, you could say virtual reality means that you can interact in a totally virtual environment, augmented reality is that you see the real world and have digital objects placed in it and mixed reality is having both features in the same device.

If you have not used any mixed reality headsets before, it might be difficult to imagine, what kind of possibilities or additional value they bring. But maybe the biggest thing they provide is a new level of immersion. The latest devices make you really feel like you are there in a virtual environment interacting with things like every-day physical objects. There are many possible use cases this level of immersion can bring to different experiences. Maybe you want to feel like you are in the front-row seats watching a basketball game, maybe you want to visit a far-away land and see its wonders, maybe you want to feel like you are climbing a mountain, maybe you want to take video calls with your family while you are walking around your house, maybe you just want to fight zombies in your living room… And many more novel use cases that we can’t even imagine yet.

Of course, Apple is not the first company to delve into virtual and augmented reality. Microsoft has been developing their HoloLens, Meta (former Facebook) is developing their Quest devices. Google had their Google Glass back in 2013. There are companies like Varjo, that specialize in high-end headsets for business customers. Magic Leap is another company that develops their own prosumer AR headsets.

And if you want to count Nintendo: they released the Virtual Boy back in 1994, but the technology wasn’t advanced enough back then and it felt more like a gimmick than a usable device.

So, the idea of spatial computing has been there for a long time, but the technology hasn’t. Now we are finally reaching the point where we can actually achieve the kind of immersion we’ve always wanted. And Apple has been great at popularizing already existing device categories and making them user-friendly. It is a mind-blowing technical feat to pack so much advanced technology into a small device you wear on your head: dual screens with high pixel counts for both eyes, eye tracking cameras, hand tracking cameras, radars for tracking your surroundings, infrared cameras and LED lights, speech recognition, three dimensional audio and lots of processing power.

So, is Vision Pro the next big computing platform?

The Vision Pro release is still at least 6 months away, so it is hard to tell, how it is going to be received. But what we can already say, is that the World’s most valuable companies are betting big Spatial Computing and believe it is going to be. I think it is a fair bet to say – Spatial Computing is the next big computing platform.

Spatial Computing, Wikipedia, Available:  


Tuukka Virtanen
Tuukka Virtanen
Managing Consultant, Sogeti Finland