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iOS beta adds ‘spatial video’ recording. Blogger calls them ‘stunning’, ‘breathtaking’, ‘compelling’

MacRumors writes that the second beta of iOS 17.2 “adds a new feature that allows an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to record spatial video” — that is, in the immersive 3D format for the yet-to-be-released Apple Vision Pro (where it can are viewed in the “Photos” app):

Spatial video recording can be enabled by going to the Settings app, tapping the Camera section, selecting Formats and turning on ‘Spatial video for âOEApple Vision ProâOE…’. Spatial videos taken with an âOEiPhone 15 ProâOE can be viewed on the âOEiPhoneâOE as well, but the video appears to be a normal video and not a spatial video.

Tech blogger John Gruber got to test the technology and watch the videos on a (yet to be released) Vision Pro headset. “I am blown away again,” he wrote, calling the experience “amazing.”

“Before my demo, I gave Apple my glasses prescription, and the Vision Pro headset I was using had the correct corrective lenses. As with my demo in June, everything I saw through the headset looked incredibly sharp…”
The Vision Pro experience relies heavily on foveated rendering, which Wikipedia succinctly describes as “a rendering technique that uses an eye tracker integrated with a virtual reality headset to reduce rendering workload by improving image quality in the peripheral vision (outside of sight) significantly. zone where the fovea looks)…” However, it is simply incredible how detailed and high resolution the overall effect is…

Just old photos look astonishing. You can make the virtual window in which you view photos as large as you practically want. It’s not just like having a six-metre-tall screen… a size that’s much closer to a cinema screen than a television. It’s like having a 20-foot display with Retina quality resolution and the best brightness and clarity of any display you’ve ever used… And then there are panoramic photos… Panoramic photos you view with Vision Pro are breathtaking. There is no optical distortion at all, no fish-eye look. It’s as if you’re standing right where the panoramic photo was taken… and the wider the panoramic view when shooting, the more engaging the playback experience is. It’s unbelievable…

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As a basic rule, I plan to capture spatial videos in the future peopleespecially my family and dearest friends, and panoramic photographs of places I visit. It’s like teleportation… When you watch regular (non-spatial) videos with Vision Pro, or view regular photos, the image appears in a sharply defined window in front of you. Spatial videos don’t look like that at all. I can’t describe it better today than I did in June: it’s like I’m watching – and listening to – a dream, through a portal with blurred edges, opened to another world…

However, nothing you’ve ever watched on a screen can prepare you for the experience of watching these spatial videos, especially the ones you’ve created yourself, of your own family and friends. They really are more memories than videos… [T]The ones I shot myself were more convincing and breathtaking. Prepare to be emotionally moved as you experience this.

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