Apple Vision Pro is set to have a casting feature, which will let spectators keep an eye on the immersive action as it happens.

Apple today launched pre-orders for Vision Pro, the $3,500 mixed reality headset. In addition to being a general computing device, replete with casual content like streaming TV and movies, Vision Pro is of course capable of fully immersive VR stuff too.

One of the big sticking points with VR headsets is isolation from other people in the room, and while the company has made a point of making Vision Pro less alienating thanks to its EyeSight display—showing off a holographic version of the user’s eyes—the company revealed it’s also allowing AirPlay casting too.

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“Up to 1080p AirPlay for mirroring your view in Apple Vision Pro to any AirPlay‑enabled device, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV (2nd generation or later), or AirPlay‑enabled smart TV,” the Vision Pro specs page reads.

As you might guess, Vision Pro isn’t the first XR headset to do this; it’s become fairly standard now on standalone devices such as Quest 2/3/Pro and Pico headsets. Granted, this will probably only be useful in VR or AR apps, and not stuff like watching TV or browsing the web, but it’s good to know the company is keeping up the Joneses, and making sure everyone else in the room can see what that new $3,500 headset is capable of.

What’s Apple Vision Pro all about? Check out our hands-on to find out, and discover why Vision Pro isn’t really for gaming, but manages to do everything else better.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Christian Schildwaechter

    this will probably only be useful in VR or AR apps, and not stuff like watching TV or browsing the web

    I’d expect it to also work for at least some (iPad) apps in full-screen mode. One of the icons on the AVPs “spatial” start page is for Keynote, Apple’s easy-to-use presentation softwares similar to Powerpoint. It would make a lot of sense for someone to wear an AVP while giving an presentation, seeing both the slides and notes floating somewhere in the room, while the slides the audience is supposed to see are streamed to a beamer/TV via AirPlay, obviously not following the users head movement.

    Selecting images to be shown to others via AirPlay from within the HMD by scrolling through the photos library and picking them with hand tracking would be another useful application of streaming 2D content. And they could even allow the AVP to send a non-stereo 1080p version of one of the 150 highres 3D movies the wearer is currently watching to a TV, so that friends and family can share the experience, even if in a much less impressive form.

  • pacpac

    The specs on the Apple page says up to 720p, not 1080p.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      They updated the specs, which initially said 1080p. A couple of people noticed that, nobody knows why they did it. It’s unlikely that Apple suddenly noticed that AVP can only handle 720p, and even much slower Macs allow AirPlay Mirroring at 1080p.

      We’ll have to wait for reviews to see if they actually limited the resolution for all or some uses, or if this is due to something special on the AVP. In theory they could for example try some sort of image stabilization by taking a 1080p stream including a lot of head movement, and display only a 720p section with reduced FoV that tries to keep the gaze in the same direction. Similar to doing image stabilization in post-processing by cutting off pixels at the edge, this would provide for a more pleasant/less nauseating viewing experience for others.

      I have no hint that they might do this whatsoever, this is just pure speculation why they might have changed the specs from 1080p to 720p shortly after the pre-order opened. The AVP would technically still stream 1080p, but others would only see 720p, making both numbers somewhat correct. But this wouldn’t answer why the AVP doesn’t simply resample from a higher resolution instead, so that the result would be a stabilized 1080p stream.

      • pacpac

        Maybe speculation but still an interesting idea!

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Apparently they actually implemented it. Not sure yet about the “live view”, but Brad Lynch recorded a couple of videos showing his view in AVP while walking through the streets, expecting it to result in a lot of head bobbing. To his surprise the video AVP recorded turned out to be fully stabilized, for a much more pleasant viewing experience.

  • Michael

    I’ll just stare at the tv and have an infinite loop