In a world where technology is constantly evolving, Apple has once again raised the bar with its latest innovation—the iPhone 15 Pro. This remarkable device has introduced a groundbreaking feature known as 'Spatial Video,' a 3D video capture capability that promises to revolutionize how we experience and share content. In this article, we delve into the exciting realm of Spatial Videos and how they can be enjoyed on existing VR headsets.
The Birth of Spatial Videos
Apple unveiled the 'Spatial Video' feature with the release of iOS 17.2 beta 2, and it's already making waves in the tech community. This cutting-edge feature allows the iPhone 15 Pro to capture two 1080p 30 FPS views simultaneously using its wide and ultrawide cameras. The result? Astonishing 3D videos that provide viewers with a sense of depth and immersion like never before.
These Spatial Videos are saved in the Apple HEVC Stereo Video Profile format, a format specially designed for the upcoming Apple Vision Pro headset. This format ensures a seamless and captivating viewing experience in a floating rectangular container—a tantalizing glimpse into the future of entertainment.
Accessibility Beyond Boundaries
The prospect of enjoying Spatial Videos may have initially seemed restricted to those who invest in the forthcoming Apple Vision Pro headset. However, Apple has pleasantly surprised us by publicly sharing the specifications for the Apple HEVC Stereo Video Profile. This act of transparency has opened the door to a world of possibilities.
A forward-thinking developer has already seized this opportunity and created an iPhone app called "Spatialify." This app empowers iPhone 15 Pro users to convert their Spatial Videos into a regular side-by-side video format. The significance of this development cannot be overstated—it means that you no longer need to own a $3500 headset to experience the magic of Spatial Videos.
How Spatialify Works
The process is surprisingly straightforward. Once you've installed Spatialify, select your Spatial Video and tap 'convert to Full Side-By-Side.' The app works its magic, transforming the video into a format that can be viewed on a variety of VR headsets.
The next step depends on your choice of headset:
For Standalone Headsets (Quest, Pico, Vive XR Elite, etc.)
- Transfer the converted video file to your PC using a method like AirDrop for Mac or a third-party iPhone file transfer solution for Windows.
- Connect your standalone VR headset to your PC via USB.
- Locate the video file in the Files app on Quest or File Manager on Pico.
- Open the video and select '3D side by side' on Quest or 'Switch Mode' followed by '3D SBS' on Pico.
For PC VR Headsets
- You can use various apps like Virtual Desktop Classic, DeoVR Video Player, Whirligig VR Media Player, or any PC VR software that supports SBS 3D videos.
- Enjoy your Spatial Video in all its three-dimensional glory.
A Glimpse into the Future
Curious to experience the wonders of Spatial Videos, I decided to try watching some test clips shared by iPhone 15 Pro owners on my Quest 3. While the sense of depth may not be as pronounced as with dedicated 3D cameras boasting wider stereo separation, it's an impressive feat considering it originates from a device that tens of millions of people carry with them every day.
The implications of this technology are vast. The regular non-Pro iPhone 16, expected next year, is rumored to also have the capability to capture Spatial Videos. This means that in just a few years, the creator base for Spatial Videos could surge into the hundreds of millions.
The Future of Spatial Videos
As the world embraces the possibilities of Spatial Videos, one question looms large: Will the need for conversion processes persist, or will major players like Meta (formerly Facebook) soon support the MV-HEVC format natively? The answer to this question could shape the future of 3D content consumption and creation.
In conclusion, the iPhone 15 Pro's introduction of Spatial Videos has ushered in a new era of immersive content. It has democratized the experience, allowing users to enjoy these captivating videos on a range of VR headsets without breaking the bank. With technology evolving at an unprecedented pace, we can only imagine what the future holds for Spatial Videos and the world of 3D content creation.