In an exciting development for augmented reality enthusiasts, Apple recently unveiled its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset, priced at $3,499. Accompanying this groundbreaking announcement is Microsoft’s commitment to making its popular productivity apps, Word, Excel, and Microsoft Teams, compatible with Apple’s new AR platform.
During a brief demonstration, Apple showcased Excel, Word, and Teams operating seamlessly within the Vision Pro headset. Users can navigate the user interface using their eyes, thanks to the implementation of eye-tracking technology. Microsoft has opted for a simplified ribbon interface, similar to what is found in its web versions of Excel and Word.
Although Apple provided only a glimpse of the Teams interface, it did disclose that Microsoft plans to incorporate its 3D personas feature. These digital representations of users’ faces are generated using advanced machine-learning techniques. Notably, Zoom and Webex will also offer support for these 3D personas on the Apple Vision Pro headset.
Microsoft’s swift support for Apple’s AR endeavors comes as no surprise, given its ongoing efforts in the realm of augmented reality. Despite its own foray into AR with HoloLens, the software giant has consistently demonstrated a willingness to adapt Office to Apple’s latest hardware innovations. This commitment was evident when Microsoft participated in Apple’s M1 silicon announcement and expedited the release of Office for M1 Macs. Moreover, the company has partnered closely with Meta to bring its suite of products, including Teams, Office, Windows, and Xbox, to Quest VR headsets.
In addition to the integration of Microsoft’s apps, the Apple Vision Pro will offer compatibility with hundreds of thousands of previously developed iOS and iPad apps, significantly expanding the content library available to users. Furthermore, Apple has made it possible for developers to utilize familiar tools like Swift, Xcode, and others to create entirely new applications specifically tailored for Vision Pro. Along with that, Adobe has confirmed that Lightroom, its renowned photo editing application, will be optimized for the Apple Vision Pro. Users will have the ability to control the app effortlessly with their eyes and hands.
As Apple prepares to revolutionize the AR landscape with its Vision Pro headset, the inclusion of Microsoft’s essential productivity apps, along with Unity and Adobe’s software, signifies a major step forward for the adoption and integration of augmented reality in our daily lives.