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Ishan Kumar profile image Ishan Kumar

Decoding Apple's Choice: Embracing Spatial Computing Over AR/VR/XR/MR

Apple released its Xcode update for developers who plan to work on visionOS apps. The new guidelines ask developers to use the term 'Spatial Computing' instead of AR/VR/MR/XR

Why did Apple Stick to Spatial Computing instead of AR/VR/XR/MR

Why Spatial Computing?

Spatial computing uses movements, gestures, and voices to transition to a rich XR computing environment. Besides, the desktop offers wherever you look, with augmented reality interspersing the digital and physical space around you. However, it comes with other aspects too. Apple is in the race to cut the haphazard crowd created by the AR/VR/XR/MR market with its spatial computing XROS.

Spatial Computing has been there for more than a decade. All the credit goes to Simon Greenwold, a developer and manager at MathWorks at MIT in 2003, who came up with the title Spatial Computing. In theory, Greenwold defines it as human interaction with a machine that retains and manipulates references to real objects and spaces.

Apple Vision Pro

With the introduction of spatial computing, Apple aims to offer new possibilities, including making computing feel more personal. Also, the company aims to simplify the concept behind AR/VR/MR/XR into one single portfolio with its spatial computing revolution. However, the critical aspect is to foster connection and collaboration. Its Apple Vision Pro, a spatial computing technology, will free users from being tied to a specific location, which is familiar to other VR headsets.

Apple is definitely in the race with its visionOS to bring transformation. Also, we've seen the company has been successful enough with almost all of its product launches. To be precise,

  • iPod heralded digital music downloads
  • iPad defined the tablet computer experience
  • iPhone revolutionised the use of smartphones
  • Apple Watch developed a health wearable niche

Developer's perspective

Developer's perspective towards visionOS

Even before the launch of its visionOS, Apple has been specific about terms when developing applications under its ecosystem. Besides, the company details all the recommendations and requirements prior to its launch on the App Store. The company has outlined all the suggestions and requirements on how developers must test their apps, prepare screenshots, create icons, and more.

While developers will be using the same development techniques for AR/VR/MR/XR portfolio, for the visionOS, it gets synonymous to Spatial Computing. Apple has outlined using the "visionOS" brand with lowercase "v" and mentioning "Apple Vision Pro" without breaking up the product name. Also, the company wants the visionOS apps under the "spatial computing apps" category. But it's interesting to note that before the official announcement, visionOS was referred to as XROS among Apple engineers. Meanwhile, the company doesn't want to get associated with Meta's "metaverse."


Apple aims to grab the VR headset market with its powerful marketing and branding approach. By emphasizing spatial computing technologies, the company plans to distinguish its products in the AR/VR headset segment, similar to what Meta has been doing with its technology. While the Apple Vision Pro launch will open new potentialities, only time will reveal where it reaches.

Ishan Kumar profile image Ishan Kumar
Ishan is the CEO of Ikarus 3D, leads a leading 3D asset firm. He's a thought leader in 3D design and technology, contributing insightful articles on emerging trends and best practices.