Streaming Video on the Apple Vision Pro: Supporting visionOS with the Bitmovin Player

Originally published at: Playback Support for Apple Vision Pro and visionOS

Apple has always been great at creating hype around its new devices or features and getting millions of people to talk about and use them. This was especially true in September at this past IBC, when many conversations we had at our booth and on other stands included mention of Apple’s big announcement on supporting AV1 for the next version of their iOS devices. With their latest push into the AR/VR space, it’s no different. In early 2024, Apple is expected to release the Apple Vision Pro, which is set to be the next big device streaming services are getting ready to support. However, what does it look like to stream video on these devices, and how will it ensure a high-quality experience for viewers?

In this blog, we will look at what Apple Vision Pro and visionOS are bringing to the table, the features and industries that can take advantage of it, and how Bitmovin’s Player is focused on supporting the new device.

What is Apple Vision Pro and visionOS?

Apple Vision Pro is an augmented reality (AR) headset announced in June 2023. It features a new three-dimensional interface that users can control with their eyes, hands, and voice. The headset is also powered by their latest operating system, visionOS, explicitly designed for spatial computing. Creating applications for visionOS is pretty straightforward, as Apple has streamlined the development process for all Apple platforms through Xcode.

Xcode is Apple’s integrated developer environment application for those unfamiliar, enabling you to develop, test, and distribute apps for all Apple platforms. Because of this, our iOS Player team found it to be a very straightforward process to add the new platform to existing projects already deployed on iOS and tvOS.

Does Apple Vision Pro and visionOS support video streaming?

The short answer is yes. The Apple Vision Pro was made with video as the focus and outputs superior picture and sound quality from its 23 million pixel resolution and dual-driver audio pods that enable an immersive experience for users. It supports up to 4K video, allowing streaming platforms to engage viewers with the highest quality live and on-demand content across browsers and dedicated applications.

Does Bitmovin support video playback on Apple Vision Pro?

Yes, we do! As Apple Vision Pro will give users a new viewing experience, it’s vital for streaming platforms to integrate and keep a consistent video quality across all devices and browsers. With Bitmovin’s support for visionOS enabling video playback on Apple Vision Pro, integration is possible today. This makes Bitmovin’s Player the only video player on the market that officially supports visionOS, providing dev teams with a unified development experience across all Apple platforms with our iOS, tvOS, and VisionOS SDK.

      Some of the features that are available with our iOS, tvOS, and visionOS SDK. See the whole feature by downloading our one sheet.

To further our development, we recently attended an Apple Vision Pro developer lab in Munich, where we got to test out the Bitmovin Player on physical Apple Vision Pro devices. It was essential to get this hands-on experience as we were able to see firsthand how our Player performed when streaming video up to 4K. Today, Playback capabilities on Vision Pro devices are similar to others in Apple’s ranges. However, Bitmovin will continue to support any additions to functionality or integrations that Apple may introduce to this new device type. You can see our latest SDK updates in our release updates.

Which industries and use cases work on the Apple Vision Pro?

Depending on the industry and use case, Apple Vision Pro will be a great way for viewers to stream content. Some of these industries include: 

  • Sports
    • Viewers will be able to watch their favorite sporting teams like never before with mixed reality capabilities. This was stated by the NBA‘s commissioner in July as they look to deploy an application on visionOS.
  • Entertainment and OTT platforms 
    • With 4K video and surround sound capabilities, streaming TV and movies will be a more immersive and personalized experience.
  • Esports and gaming
    • Users will be able to follow the latest gaming events closer and stream their favorite gamers.
  • Online events
    • With virtual conferences, concerts, and more, users will be able to engage and interact more with content they are interested in.
  • Health and Fitness
    • Apple Vision Pro will be used to provide remote workouts, physical therapy, and rehabilitation sessions, making it easier for people to access care from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Edtech and eLearning
    • Video learning will be more interactive and immersive, making learning and retaining information more accessible for students.

The wrap-up

As the industry gets ready for the release of the Apple Vision Pro in 2024, it’s clear there are a lot of streaming platforms working to get to market and reach the new viewer base on the device. Ensuring playback is consistent and in the highest quality across every device will be key for streaming platforms in maintaining viewer retention and engagement. That is why Bitmovin continues to focus on supporting the broadest range of devices in the market and providing a robust integration and feature set to enable our customers to reach their viewers with the best quality of experience possible.

If you want to know more about Bitmovin’s support for visionOS and playback on Apple Vision Pro, join the conversation on our Bitmovin Community, and if you want to test out our solution suite, sign up for our 30-day free trial.

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Support for Apple Vision Pro and visionOS are essential as the device ecosystem expands. Let us know what you think and if there are any questions you have about the integration.