Apple is bringing AI features to the Vision Pro

1 Jul 2024

Image: © be free/Stock.adobe.com

Notification prioritisation, new writing tools, an OpenAI chatbot and the new Siri are all AI features that could help make the Vision Pro headset a device to work with.

Virtual reality and artificial intelligence are two areas of consumer tech that have been gathering considerable interest in the past couple of years, and Apple has plans to marry the two worlds by bringing AI to its Vision Pro headset.

Apple announced a host of new AI features it is working on, such as an improved Siri, custom emojis and proofreading tools, at its annual developers conference last month. It also unveiled Apple Intelligence, which the company describes as a “personal intelligence system” to be available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac later this year.

CEO Tim Cook hailed Apple Intelligence as a “new chapter” in innovation at the company that is poised to “transform what users can do with our products”.

Now, the world’s second most valuable company is planning to bring these features to its flagship Vision Pro headset, which hit US stores earlier this year and arrived in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore just last week.

Bloomberg reports that while the company is “actively working” on bringing the AI features to the Vision Pro, it won’t happen this year. Examples of features that could make sense on the device include notification prioritisation, writing tools, an OpenAI chatbot and the new Siri.

Apple’s late but determined focus on AI has helped it significantly increase its market capitalisation recently, bringing the company’s value to record levels last month.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Vision Pro is very pricey at $3,499 in the US and has seen limited uptake until now, the new AI features could help solidify the headset’s position as a computing system to get work done as opposed to a gimmicky device.

The road to AI implementation will not be smooth sailing for the iPhone maker. The company revealed plans to postpone the release of several upcoming AI features in the EU market last week because of issues it has with requirements stemming from the Digital Markets Act, which is an attempt to crack down on anti-competitive behaviour.

While Apple Intelligence is due to launch in the US later this year, it is not expected to launch in the EU until 2025. Other features that are being delayed are iPhone Mirroring and SharePlay Screen Sharing, Bloomberg reported.

“I find that very interesting that they say, ‘we will now deploy AI where we’re not obliged to enable competition’,” said EU competition chief Magrethe Vestager upon being asked about her thoughts on the postponement decision.

“I think that is the most stunning, open declaration that they know 100pc that this is another way of disabling competition where they have a stronghold already.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

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