Apple today announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) its big visionOS 2 update, which is set to arrive on Vision Pro sometime later this year. With it comes a few new features which promise to let you convert 2D photos into spatial photos, and share them live with your Vision Pro-owning friends.

Alongside iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Vision Pro has the ability to natively take 3D photos and video, although you probably have a ton of standard 2D snaps in the backlog that aren’t spatial enough.

Apple says its visionOS 2 update will include “a powerful way to transform photos into 3D memories,” which is being done via the company’s machine learning.

In its WWDC keynote, Apple says it will allow you to convert these 2D images to 3D by rendering “both a left and right-eye view from your beautiful 2D image, creating a spatial photo with natural depth, which looks stunning on Vision Pro.”

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The visionOS 2 update is also bringing the ability to share spatial photos and videos with other Vision Pro users live via SharePlay, which users will find in the Photos app.

There’s no telling when we’ll see visionOS 2 land, however the company says we’ll be getting it this Fall, which it says will be available to “all Apple Vision Pro users,” which ostensibly includes the list of new countries its shipping to starting this month.

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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 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Hussain X

    Thanks to advancements in AI, I've been converting 2D movies and TV shows to 3D to watch on the Quest 3. The immersion provided by 3D on a giant virtual screen is next level. Thanks to AI, this can now be done easily at home and we do not have to rely on studios anymore. A part of me does also feel sorry for those watching content in 2D on a 65inch TV, totally unaware of the crazy immersion that can be had in VR after a 3D conversion.

    Also the conversion is high quality, using depth maps generated by AI. Not those simple converters that used simple tricks. The very good news is that it's totally free and available on Github You will of course need a GPU, though runs on CPU but very, very slow on it. It's called IW3 by Nagadomi. An unknown software released just a few months ago by an awesome dev who developed it for personal use but is kind enough to share it for free (uses free AI models developed by other awesome devs). That software now transports me into hours of magical, story rich worlds, with maximum 3D immersion. To me that software is now one of the most important entertainment items I've ever owned along with VR. It just transforms 2D movies and tv shows into something else: it's like being inside the worlds of these big budget shows/movies whilst watching events unfold.

    • ViRGiN

      Been hearing about this for years, have never been impressed, and the IW3 github page doesn't seem to even have samples.

      • Hussain X

        Things are a lot better now due to advances in AI training that can use deep learning. E.g. some recent AI models from Depth Anything (which I use on IW3) were trained "on a combination of 1.5M labeled images and 62M+ unlabeled images", and the models were released just only 5 months ago.

    • Stephen Bard

      Like you I do so feel sorry the great unwashed masses ignorantly stuck in their bland 2D media world. It's kinda like the way I feel about people playing their flatscreen games, even with fabulous PC graphics, when they could be "inside" the game in a Quest 3. I presume you use the wonderful Skybox app to watch your converted videos in Quest 3.

      • Hussain X

        I use various apps to watch converted videos and I move around between them. They include Bigscreen, Skybox, Moonplayer & 4XVR.

  • Stephen Bard

    Just like with so-called "spatial" photos/videos, Apple will of course try to make it seem like this 2D to 3D conversion is something revolutionary that they have invented or improved, and their ignorant fanboys don't know any better. There are various methods that many of us have been using for years that use depth maps and AI to do excellent 2D/3D conversions, such that you really never need to see any photos, videos or movies in boring 2D anymore (I now live in a media dimentionality world). A few years ago I stumbled across a free App Lab app for the Quest called Owl3D that allowed you to do excellent cloud 2D/3D conversion instantly for photos/art and overnight for short videos, and then share them in a gallery in the app. Unfortunately, the devs decided that they needed to actually make some money, so they switched to providing AI conversion software for us to use on our home PC (free and pay versions). So I think Owl 3D is currently probably the best 2D/3D conversion software with the most settings options. A similar software for your home PC is the free IW3, and both of these are incredibly slow, with full-length movie conversion taking overnight — 2 days. If you read the unbelievably convoluted discussions on the Owl3D Discord, you'll find that there are diverse opinions as to what settings to use to produce the best depth/pop-out and how much artifact you can tolerate. The Owl3D purists might scoff at my next option, but I routinely use the excellent "realtime" 2D/3D AI conversion on my incredible Lume Pad 2 glasses-free tablet. I can take a 12 hour 2D video that I compiled from thousands of Artstation images or hundreds of YouTube videos and run it realtime in 3D that is "almost" as good as the kind that took many hours of high-end GPU time to produce! Yet another conversion option is Immersity AI, that used to be LeiaPix, but their cloud video conversion is way too expensive to do things like whole movies.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      In contrast to what you point out (again and again and again in each comment touching AVP), the "ignorant fanboys" don't use Apple products because they believe that Apple has invented something revolutionary. They use Apple products because they "just work". Apple themselves almost never claim to have come up with something first, as this would imply talking about the competition, instead innovation and superiority are just implied.

      And yes, 3D conversions have been possible for a while, and the movie industry switched from expensive dual camera setups to mostly adding 3D in post-processing many years ago. It is great that everybody can do this for themselves today, and your detailed description may get a number of people to actually give it a try.

      The main difference for AVP users will be that the function will be integrated into the standard Photos app. It will just be there and work, without ever having to worry about cloud rendering, using a local PC, free or paid software or tuning to minimize artifacts. They truly won't (have to) care about the already decades long history of 2D to 3D conversion.

      • Stephen Bard

        It is indeed gratifying to have you so eloquently confirm that Apple fanboys are so happy in their ignorance and only want for things to "just work". So when "innovation and superiority are simply implied" in all Apple products, you totally blindly believe Apple when they say that the IPhone 15 Pro can take good "spatial photos/videos" when that is blatantly untrue. Apple's sudden invention of "Spatial" photos/videos is most annoying since they are just the standard SBS 3D photos that have been in use for decades (with an annoying blur around the edge). The iPhone 15 Pro is a completely inferior device for creating good 3D photos because the 2 lenses they use are too close together. Apple is hoping that you will be happy with the crappy 3D photo capability that they have improvised with the impractical iPhone camera configuration they were stuck with. Their scam idea of "spatial" photo/video "memories" has sold quite a few more premium iPhones to gullible Apple fanboys. You can produce 4K 3D photos/videos with far better and more realistic "depth" using inexpensive dedicated 3D cameras with lenses eye-distance apart. The best inexpensive 3D camera that produces results far better than your iPhone is the strange KanDao QooCam EGO for a third the price of an iPhone. Acer has a Spatial Labs "Eyes" 3D camera coming out soon but the specs look similar to the QooCam and it is more expensive. Another device that produces really excellent 3D photos/videos is the fabulous Lume Pad 2 glasses-free 3D tablet (but not pocketable like the QooCam). Another advantage of the Lume Pad 2 is that you and a friend can watch your "spatial videos" in glorious 3D without wearing a $3500 headset, or any headset. The next step up from these $300-$500 devices that do excellent 3D photos/videos is something like the Calf 6K 3D VR180 camera for $2000 that is slightly more professional.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          I'm glad that me pointing out that some people prefer things to just work over going on a quest to find a potentially superior solution, no matter the time or money required, or how many extra devices they'll have to carry in addition to their phone, has at least provided you with an option to vent about what I must assume is deep seated trauma, as you most certainly aren't just an Apple hater (a noble tradition going back almost 50 years). No, everything you write is based on pure reason and research and representative for everybody, which is why everybody would agree with you.

          My best guess is that an Apple truck ran over your dog while you were a small child, justifiably branding them and everything they do as evil by default, regardless of how much market numbers indicate that people actually like what they are doing. Sorry, not people, only ignorant, gullible fanboys (at least women seem to be resistant). They are even worse than the "unwashed masses" that still dare to watch media in only 2D, when all it would take to see them in glorious (and definitely not spatial) 3D is some minor research, software, hardware and network configuration plus a couple of hours of rendering time per movie.