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Apple Vision Pro: how this headset will revolutionize science

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Barely twelve days after its release in the United States, the Apple Vision Pro is already arousing very keen interest in the scientific community. Much more than all other augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) devices, the latest innovation from the Cupertino company is a real disruptive element. Disruptive, because its implications go well beyond most of the latest innovations of the last 15 years. Research on human-machine interaction, medical and health applications or surgery, all areas that the Apple Vision Pro is preparing to shake up.

A device with a futuristic aftertaste

Described by Apple as a ordinateur spatial, it is quite simply the most advanced mixed reality headset never developed. Its technical capabilities are simply insane: a 23 million pixel screen on which the environment in which its user is located can appear, with a latency of only 12 milliseconds.

A technology based on four interior cameraswhich perpetually follow the eye movements of the wearer. Eight exterior cameras are responsible for filming what the user has around them. Everything (or almost) then becomes virtually possible: superimposing information in the field of vision, completely immersing yourself inside a fictional setting, projecting screens and objects in its environment and interact with them with a pinch of a finger. The imaginable applications are very numerous.

Sam Altman of OpenAI called the Vision Pro the “most impressive technology after the iPhone ”. For Dima Damen, a specialist in computer vision at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, the potential of the headset is also colossal: “& nbsp;A laptop, rather than a pocket computer [a mobile phone], could be the future ” .

To fully embrace the potential of Vision pro, stopping at simple technical considerations is not enough. Its application potential is also colossal.

Applications beyond VR

The system gaze and pinch (look and pinch) on which the headset rests is relatively similar to a system developed in 2017 by Ken Pfeuffer, a researcher specializing in human-computer interaction at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.

Due to its simplicity, it allows users to navigate naturally in the virtual environment and interact with digital content without having to use a traditional device, keyboard or mouse for example. For people with reduced mobility, this is a considerable advantage.

In terms of accessibility, it’s very simple; never before has a computing device gone this far. For people who can no longer use their hands precisely, such a navigation system is a giant step forward. By eliminating the need for physical handling of a device, it can empower people who have struggled to access information and services online. line.

In France, “ people with disabilities (&# 8230;), represent one person in digital exclusion in five ” according to a 2020 Senate report. A significant proportion, which could decrease if devices like the Vision pro became popular.

Having a company the size of Apple take ownership of this technology could also accelerate research and development in this specific area while attracting funding and fostering collaborations.< /p>

Impacts on health and surgery

The potential of Vision Pro in the medical sector is also immense. Jan Egger and Jens Kleesiek from the University Hospital Essen are considering the use of headphones as a diagnostic aid. Thanks to the latter's eye tracking, it could help identify mild symptoms such as vertigo.

Even more interesting, this technology could detect early signs of stroke (stroke) or even dementia thanks to tracking specific patterns of eye movements. The main advantage is that the Vision Pro can provide very precise data in real time, which would speed up diagnosis and allow for earlier intervention.

Beyond the diagnosis, the entire field of surgery could be turned upside down. Since the headset can overlay digital information directly onto the real world, surgeons could work with an enriched view of their operating field.

For example, during an operation, a surgeon might have his eye on holograms depicting sensitive vascular structures or other essential anatomical features. A superposition of information that would then reduce the risk of errors and secure procedures.

Towards a new era of computing

For Tim Cook, Apple CEO, the Vision Pro marks the  “ beginning of’ a new era for computing ”. A new paradigm, where the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds become thinner until they completely blend together.

Cook's vision is shared by other researchers, such as Damen. “ This will transform our society, just as previous technologies, such as cell phones, did (…) This technology could well open up accelerated paths to progress for us.” she explains.

In the long term, the integration of VR/AR into our daily lives could profoundly change our behavior, the perception we have of the world and even the structure of our brain. However, this continued exposure to the virtual also raises concerns: “ This projection is likely to be modified in multiple ways ” Damen warned. At the same time, progress in generative AI is also accelerating and with it the risks of images being manipulated.

L& #8217;Apple Vision Pro is much more than a simple technological shift, it is perhaps the object with the most significant disruptive potentialsince the advent of the smartphone. If its contributions in many areas are undeniable, History has also taught us that such powerful technology can lead to distressing excesses. Would you dream of a world where each person is constantly equipped with such a helmet? A helmet that would allow you to no longer see your environment as it really is, to be able to project at leisure what we want onto the latter so as to no longer have to face what we displease? For the moment, this is at worst science fiction or dystopian fantasy. However, considering the ethical, psychological and social implications of such an advance remains fundamental so that this technology remains a support and not a substitute for the human experience.

  • Scientists already consider the potential of the Apple Vision Pro to be revolutionary.
  • Beyond leisure, the advances they could bring are colossal: improvement of human-machine interaction, use for medical diagnostics or for surgery.
  • With it opens certainly a new period in computing, in which certain deviations nevertheless remain possible.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116