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Apple Vision Pro is already making the Meta Quest 3 better

You don’t need to own an Apple Vision Pro to appreciate it. Just having competition from the high end is pushing Meta to improve its mainstream mixed reality headset.

Meta Quest 3 hit the market last year for $499. That’s $3000 shy of Vision Pro, but with the same goal of colorized passthrough for mixed reality. The only problem was that Meta’s version of passthrough was hardly comparable to Apple’s. My own evaluation is that Meta Quest 3 passthrough is usable but not convincing.

That appears to be changing now. In a Quest software update called v64, Meta says that it has improved passthrough quality for the Meta Quest 3 headset. Here’s a summary from the release notes:

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Vision Pro-assisted surgery notches up another first; likely to become commonplace

Vision Pro-assisted surgery | Surgeon and x-ray of reverse shoulder replacement

We’ve already seen at least two examples of a Vision Pro headset assisting with surgery, and another first has now been notched up in Florida.

Vision Pro was used to provide “touch-free access to the surgical setup, inventory, and procedural guides from within the sterile field of the operating room” during a shoulder replacement – specifically, a reverse one …

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New spatial Persona beta feature launching for Apple Vision Pro users today

Apple has announced that beta spatial Persona support is coming to Apple Vision Pro starting later today. The feature expands on the existing Persona feature of Vision Pro, but with an even more human-like experience.

Spatial Personas allow Vision Pro users to “break out of the familiar FaceTime tile and feel more present, like they are gathered in the same physical space.”

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Apple Pencil for Vision Pro seemingly supported by patent application

Apple Pencil for Vision Pro (existing model shown, boxed)

A recent report suggested we might be seeing some form of Apple Pencil for Vision Pro, and that idea appears to be supported by an Apple patent application published this week.

The lack of a physical surface to press against means that things like drawing and handwriting can be tougher in a virtual environment, and Apple describes a couple of interesting solutions to this …

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Shooting spatial video? A $3 iPhone app offers better resolution than Apple’s app

Shooting spatial video (kid's birthday party shown)

If you’re shooting spatial video on your iPhone 15 Pro – and there can be good reasons for doing so, even if you don’t own a Vision Pro – then you may want to invest in a $3 iPhone app.

While Apple’s native camera app only shoots spatial video in 1080p at 30fps, Spatialify lets you record in 4K at the same frame rate …

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Three more Apple Arcade games coming to Apple Vision Pro including spatial Spire Blast

Update, March 27: In an email, Apple confirmed that these three games will launch on Apple Arcade on March 28.

Apple Arcade brings high quality games to Apple Vision Pro on day one. Apple highlights that over 250 titles are available with 12 specifically designed for a spatial experience on visionOS. Apple Vision Pro will soon gain three more games through Arcade including Spire Blast in spatial.

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Former Oculus head calls Apple Vision Pro an ‘over-engineered devkit’

Apple Vision Pro and visionOS

Vision Pro is Apple’s mixed reality headset. Launched at prices starting at $3,499, Apple Vision Pro has been widely praised for its technologies, but at the same time criticized for its lack of apps and high price. To Hugo Barra, former vice president of Android and head of Oculus at Meta, Apple’s headset is an “over-engineered devkit.”

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