Home Virtual Reality With visionOS 2, Apple Vision Pro Supports Room-Scale VR

With visionOS 2, Apple Vision Pro Supports Room-Scale VR

Apple Vision Pro can support full room-scale VR with visionOS 2, only showing your real floor when walking.

In our review of Vision Pro we pointed out that it didn’t really support room-scale VR. Instead of having a user-defined or suggested safety boundary like Meta Quest or SteamVR, by default visionOS 1 just puts you in a 3×3 meter circular bubble of VR centered on your starting position. As you approach the edge your view becomes more transparent, until it fades to full passthrough. This is called full mode, and in visionOS 1 it’s the only mode practical for developers to use for VR.

Another mode available to developers is mixed mode. In visionOS 1 this technically allowed unbounded VR but faded to passthrough while you were walking, so wasn’t suitable in practice. But visionOS 2, which was announced earlier this week at WWDC24, only shows this passthrough on your floor, keeping the rest of the scene fully virtual.

Footage from Max Thomas, the main developer of the visionOS ALVR port.

Max Thomas, the main developer of the visionOS port of the ALVR SteamVR streaming app, has already implemented mixed mode, which the app will now use when running on visionOS 2. He provided UploadVR with the above clip showing it working in Beat Saber as a demonstration.

The new behavior of the mixed mode also opens up the possibility of room-scale VR in native Vision Pro titles, not just streamed from a PC.

The game Job Simulator for example has three versions of each level on most other headsets: small, medium, and large. The appropriate size is loaded based on your boundary size. But on Vision Pro only the small size is included. The developer Owlchemy Labs tells UploadVR that the visionOS 2 change is “interesting”, and once Unity adds support for visionOS 2 they plan to “test a number of features”.

 

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