Developers can now get started with Unity games and apps on Apple’s Vision Pro. Unity has made a beta available to developers that includes support for visionOS. With this, developers already working with Unity apps in VR and AR solutions can get to work making them suitable for the Apple Vision Pro.
Apple will try to disrupt the AR and VR market with its Apple Vision Pro. A pair of glasses capable of adding a new dimension to virtual or augmented reality. Of course, developers could already work with Swift and SwiftUI to develop applications, but support from Unity opens many more doors.
For example, Unity also supports a variety of other AR and VR platforms, for example, the Microsoft Hololens, the Meta Quest platform, as well as PC and PlayStation VR applications and games. Applications and games previously developed for other platforms can now be easily adapted to the Apple visionOS platform in many cases. This can quickly scale up the number of applications and games that support visionOS.
Phased rollout of Unity beta
Developers who sign up for the Unity beta will be admitted in phases. What is clear, however, is that the focus is not so much on creators of well-known games. Although Unity is best known as a gaming engine, many business applications are also built with it, and Apple seems to have a solid focus on that. However, many well-known iPhone games are based on Unity and have indirectly contributed to the success of many Apple products.
Different types of applications for visionOS
Developers will soon have a choice of developing different types of applications. The simplest is just a 2D application in a window. In addition to that it should also be easy to port complete VR applications. Things get more complicated when one wants to develop augmented reality apps displayed as 3D objects in the user’s physical environment. Or that can interact with other visonOS apps. The application then shares physical space with other applications, and challenges are involved. To manage this, the developer needs to use RealityKit within visionOS. In Unity, the PolySpatial feature was developed for this purpose; this feature can translate Unity objects, materials and shaders into RealityKit.
Developers still have more than six months
Apple plans to launch the Vision Pro in early 2024. There is no exact date yet. No doubt this will also be partly tuned based on application availability. So the next six months will give developers plenty of time to get their existing applications ready for the Vision Pro and develop new applications.
Organizations will move from HoloLens to Vision Pro
We expect that especially many business applications of the Microsoft HoloLens will find their way towards the Vision Pro. The HoloLens 2 dates back to early 2019, and it will be five years old when the Vision Pro comes out. For organizations that still use the HoloLens for things like repairs using augmented reality, the Vision Pro will be an excellent upgrade. The image quality, viewing angle and presumably the wearing comfort will be much better. In terms of price, the products do not differ. However, the existing applications must be ported towards visionOS.