Apple’s Vision Pro impact on streaming
Last updated: 8 June 2023
On Monday, Apple announced Vision Pro, their long-rumoured high-quality VR / AR headset with its own operating system (visionOS) that builds on top of Apple’s ecosystem of operating systems, applications, and online services. At Jet-Stream we strongly believe Vision Pro will have a major impact on streaming:
A) Apple already has a large market share in streaming.
You may think that Apple’s market share is relatively small when you look at Safari’s web market share, or at Apple’s own relatively modest TV+ service. But check this: according to our own EU aggregated streaming data, Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Laptops/Desktops and AppleTV) account for 40-50% of all on-demand and live streaming video consumption in Europe. Apple owners are great consumers of streaming services, and a new Apple device with so much potential for video applications will definitely make a difference.
B) Apple is known for putting technologies in the hands of the masses.
Yes, other vendors are great at producing VR headsets. But it takes a company like Apple to break down technological barriers and create mass acceptance (and a buzz). Expect other vendors to follow Apple and offer competing products too, with similar experiences.
C) What will be the impact of Vision Pro on streaming?
1. Immersive Streaming Experience
Vision Pro offers an immersive streaming experience like never before. Users can watch movies, TV shows, and live events in a virtual theatre-like setting, larger than the space they are in. This creates a more immersive way to consume content, enhancing the overall streaming experience. The effect of Vision Pro’s dual 4K screens for streaming platforms is that 2x4K will raise the bar for transcoding, storage, platform performance, CDN performance, and scale.
2. The rebirth of 3D video
Once touted by TV manufacturers as a breakthrough technology, 3D television never really took off. 3D films are popular in cinema. Immersive video will enhance the viewers’ streaming experience with deeper engagement. Video platforms will have to enhance their video processing services to support immersive video, 4K, 360°, 3D, HDR, and immersive audio.
3. Video first
Nowadays most interactive services that include video are web or mobile pages with a video embedded. Vision Pro will flip this: it’s video first, with embedded or layered content on top of it: whether it’s metadata, interactive elements, for learning or for commerce. This of course is great news for video and streaming platforms, and a challenge for web and app designers, who will have to flip their mindset: video first.
4. Enhanced Interactivity
With the integration of VR and AR technologies, streaming platforms can offer better interactive experiences, in layers of depth, either fully immersed or in a mixed-reality setting. Users will be able to explore virtual environments related to the content they are watching, access additional information or behind-the-scenes content, or even participate in interactive events. There are great opportunities for enriched experiences, and more integrated ways of sharing knowledge, and there are great commercial opportunities with ad layers, clickable elements, call-to-actions, and direct sales. Video platforms will have to add dynamic (3D, 360°) elements to video to fully utilize the possibilities of these technologies.
5. Virtual Social Interaction
Vision Pro transforms social interactions by allowing users to virtually connect with others in shared environments. Streaming platforms can integrate social features into their apps, enabling users to watch movies or shows together with friends or participate in virtual watch parties. This would simulate the experience of being in the same physical space, even if the users are physically apart. Vision Pro’s technology to show eyes in VR and AR will make social interaction as personal as possible. We’re betting that FaceTime is going to greatly enhance shared watching and video conferencing experiences, beyond what we are used to today with Teams, Meet and Zoom.
6. Storytelling experiences
3D interactive video adds a new layer of engagement and interactivity to the streaming process, enabling wild new creative possibilities for creators, writers, directors, and artists. Streaming platforms and creatives should start working together now, to reach great new levels of storytelling for capturing, engaging and immersive experiences. This will lead to a new era of streaming content with innovative narratives and unique perspectives.
7. Personalized Content Delivery
Vision Pro will enable personalized content delivery based on user preferences and behaviour. By analyzing user interactions, you can present content recommendations, tailored advertisements. This could provide a more personalized and immersive streaming experience. As a privacy-first company, we welcome Apple’s efforts to limit access to biometric or environmental data, which is a major concern with companies such as Meta.
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