Emerging from the shadows at the annual WWDC conference, Apple has unveiled visionOS, its latest operating system designed specifically to power the much-anticipated Apple Vision Pro, the company's first augmented reality headset. VisionOS breaks the mold, introducing a new era of spatial computing, Apple's preferred term for augmented and virtual reality experiences.
Like a high-tech symphony, visionOS harmonizes with MacOS and iOS at the architecture level, incorporating a "real-time subsystem" to handle interactive visuals on the Vision Pro. What sets it apart, however, is its revolutionary three-dimensional interface. This interface eliminates the confines of traditional displays, enabling apps to exist side by side at varying scales and dynamically respond to natural light, casting shadows to convey a sense of scale and distance.
Upon launch, visionOS will host a myriad of apps, including native Unity apps and offerings from big-name developers like Adobe (with Lightroom), Microsoft (featuring Teams and Office), Cisco (with WebEx), and Zoom. The new OS extends its arms into the medical and engineering fields, offering software for detailed anatomy rendering and visualizing complex physics phenomena.
All of this software and more will be available in a fresh-out-of-the-oven app store, launching in tandem with the Vision Pro. Gaming enthusiasts, hold onto your seats – over 100 Apple Arcade titles will be available for play on "day one," according to Apple.
Complementing the Vision Pro's hardware, visionOS supports EyeSight, projecting the eyes of the headset wearer onto the device's curved outer display for a truly immersive experience.
Apple also turned the spotlight onto the new security system integrated into visionOS, dubbed Optic ID. Utilizing encrypted iris scans for authentication, it cooperates with Secure Enclave, the subsystem ingrained into Apple's system-on-chips. Privacy remains a priority, as demonstrated during Apple's prerecorded presentation, ensuring that telemetry data, like user interactions with apps and websites, stays confidential.