Apple has limited the safety zone in which the Vision Pro headset can be used in VR mode to just 3 x 3 meters. This decision is probably aimed at preventing accidents, but it may be too strict and reduce the headset’s potential.
Most likely, this limitation was introduced by Apple to prevent the typical accidents when using virtual reality headsets that are often seen on YouTube. However, some experts argue that this restriction may be too strict for some types of games and will also severely limit Vision Pro’s commercial and industrial uses.
Here’s what Hans Karlsson, Chief Technology Officer at creative agency VR Mimir, had to say:I just found out that Apple has restricted the VR headset to exit VR if you move more than 5 feet. So Apple’s VR is for sofa lovers. You won’t get true 3D video outside of the sofa area. No table tennis, nothing to force you to go beyond a small court. Very disappointing“.
According to Apple’s documentation, visionOS defines a system boundary that extends 1.5 meters from the user’s head’s starting position when a user begins full immersion in virtual reality. If the head exceeds this zone, the system will automatically stop the diving process and display the image from the headset cameras. This function serves as an assistant to prevent the user from colliding with surrounding objects.
Experts assume that this is only an initial limitation. As users become more comfortable and experienced with VR, this limit may be increased or removed. If so, that would be understandable caution on the part of Apple.
Others believe Apple is encouraging sedentary use of its headset to reduce fatigue and encourage people to wear the Vision Pro longer than other manufacturers’ VR headsets. Analyst Neil Cybart is confident that Apple wants to promote the use of augmented reality (AR) more than virtual (VR) – at least initially. For example, if you watch a commercial for Varjo, the maker of even more expensive mixed reality headsets for corporate use, you’ll see a designer walking around a full-size virtual car. However, this happens in an AR environment where the user can see the surroundings.
In any case, it’s important to note that this is just the beginning for the Vision Pro and we can expect the current restrictions to be lifted and the headset itself to be improved in the future.