Apple could bring spatial photos to 'iPhone Ultra' after Vision Pro release

in iPhone edited September 4

Apple could enable a future "iPhone Ultra" or Pro Max model to take spatial photographs and videos that could be viewed by the Apple Vision Pro headset, a leaker claims.

One of the features of the Apple Vision Pro is that it includes Apple's first three-dimensional camera, capable of taking spatial photographs and videos that can be viewed via the headset. If a rumor is to be believed, the capability to create those images could be brought to iPhone.

According to a post from a supposedly highly-accurate Weibo leaker seen by MacRumors, Apple will bring out a version of the "iPhone Ultra" after the release of the Vision Pro that will handle such imagery. Specifically, the model will "lead the market to rethink what kind of photos and videos a mobile phone should take," which is believed to be the spatial variety.

The Apple Vision Pro headset includes a number of sensors on the outside to record many different data points, including depth maps of spaces ahead of the user, and imaging sensors to capture the front view.

As spatial photography and videography relies on there being multiple imaging sensors that are set a distance apart, the sensors on the Vision Pro are ideally suited for the task.

However, while the current Pro models of iPhone, such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, do include depth mapping and multiple cameras, it seems unlikely that such a feature will exist with current-gen configurations. The relatively short distance between the sensors and lenses on the rear means that a typical stereoscopic effect isn't possible.

For a future iPhone Ultra to offer spatial photography, Apple will have to include an extra sensor on the opposite end of the rear of the iPhone, to get sufficient separation.

3D photos have been taken on iPhones in the past, with Facebook using depth mapping to give the effect of 3D in a two-dimensional photograph since 2018. Even so, the results can't be considered enough to be used by Apple for its headset.

While current-gen iPhones won't provide images usable for spatial photography, users will still be able to access them within the Vision Pro, via iCloud. Shots will be viewable at a life-size scale, Apple claims, with panoramas expanding to wrap around the user's head.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 6
    Be interesting to see how they work together. Still not sold on Vision Pro as anything but niche.
    edited September 4
  • Reply 2 of 6
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,230member
    I also had the same thought, it makes sense to me that the iPhone Ultra is a next-level device beyond the Pro and ProMax and it make sense that Apple will want people to make 3D videos along with VisionPro software to set the ground for the debut of the VisionPro.

    If it doesn’t happen this year, it will be the next.  We will find out soon enough.
    FileMakerFellerBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Be interesting to see how they work together. Still not sold on Vision Pro as anything but niche.
    So it goes with new products. Jobs originally hoped for 2% market share with the first iPhone. First Macintosh was niche too. Let’s see where it’s at in 5+. 
    Bart Ycharlesnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Bart YBart Y Posts: 62unconfirmed, member
    Be interesting to see how they work together. Still not sold on Vision Pro as anything but niche.
    Question is, would you count all or part of  an iPhone 15 Ultra Spatial as AVP revenue or not?

    if Apple manages to sell 600K AVP units in first year at an ASP of $3800 (w/accessory power, lenses, and straps), that a starting run of $2.3B, AVP App Store revenue is unknown for some time.  If Apple can increase sales by 1M each year then we get:
    2024 600K X $3800 = $2.3B
    2025 1.6M X $3800 = $6.1B
    2026 2.6M X $3800 = $9.9B
    2027 3.6M X $3800 = $13.7B
    2028 4.7M X $3800 = $17.5B

    This does not include effects if Apple comes out with a cheaper yet still very capable version.  $17+B market revenues in 5 years is a pretty good feat, still maybe niche but growing and adding to overall revenues.  And we are not
    counting contributions from Spatial Cameras, AVP App Store, content subscriptions like Sports, instruction, education, etc.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Be interesting to see how they work together. Still not sold on Vision Pro as anything but niche.
    Of course you're not sold--how could you be? It's a first gen product that will likely redefine its category, but it has yet to go on sale and its full debut feature set/capabilities--not to mention anticipated future gen capabilities--remain under wraps. Its rumored $3K price tag will keep initial sales limited but that's a given, and that price will inevitably come down, probably by a lot. Apple's first laptop, the Macintosh Portable, cost $6500 when it debuted in 1989--that's about $16,000 in 2023 dollars. 
    watto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Definitely TLens ( or some variation of it. It allows for spatial photography; there are multiple patents associated with Apple; and it is generally known that this lens is required for AR to work smoothly these days.
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