Is Apple Vision Pro destined to revolutionize digital design? Fivecube takes a deep dive into spatial computing and what it means for digital arts and design.

Feb 16, 2024

The Future of Digital Arts and Design with Apple Vision Pro

It seems Apple has done it again. Its Apple Vision Pro augmented reality headset, released in the U.S. on February 2, 2024, is poised to revolutionize the way we interact with the world once more.

But it’s not only day-to-day life that stands to be transformed by Apple Vision Pro. In the digital design and arts industry, Apple’s spatial computer can bring on a new era of design, upending some workflows and paving the way for new ones.

Apple Vision Pro: Quick Overview

Apple Pro Vision is a mixed-reality headset promoted by Apple as a spatial computer. Priced at an astounding $3,500, the headset uses cameras to augment the real-world environment with virtual elements like web browser windows, all in three dimensions. Thanks to the headset’s ability to analyze environments in real time, users can also pose virtual objects on real surfaces.

To interact with virtual interfaces and objects, users can rely on eye tracking, as well as hand gestures and voice commands. The headset also comes with EyeSight, a feature that allows others to see the user’s eyes while they’re wearing the headset.

Apple Vision Pro uses a new operating system, visionOS. The software development kit (SDK) was made available in June 2023, a few weeks after the headset itself was unveiled. The visionOS SDK allows developers to use familiar technologies to create next-generation, three-dimensional interfaces:

  • Xcode
  • SwiftUI
  • RealityKit
  • ARKit
  • TestFlight

To test a visionOS application on the actual device, developers can apply for the Apple Vision Pro developer kit. It allows you to borrow the headset, as well as check in with Apple’s experts to troubleshoot issues.

Among 600+ visionOS apps, some digital design apps stand to become powerful productivity tools for designers.

How Can Designers Benefit from Apple Vision Pro?

Whether you provide SaaS website design services or create mobile games, Apple Vision Pro has multiple tools that can transform your digital graphic design workflows. Here are just three examples of digital design programs already available on visionOS:

  • Da Vinci Eye. This digital art projector allows you to trace real-world objects on a digital canvas, as well as superimpose digital illustrations or references on real-world objects (e.g., tote bags for future prints or photos as references for painting).
  • LiveSurface. With this design visualization tool, you can place your designs on real-world objects (e.g., bottles, books) or showcase your artwork in real time.
  • Bento|Craft. Also available on iPad, Bento|Craft is a well-established tool for app developers and marketers alike. It streamlines the design process with pre-made layouts and mockup templates, while also giving designers all the tools they need to make unique designs.

As mentioned above, if you plan to develop applications for the headset, you can apply for the Apple Vision Pro developer kit and get a development device to test those applications.

Is It the Future of Digital Art and Design?

In our opinion, Apple Vision Pro can be – but it all hinges on the adoption rates of the technology and its affordability. If the Apple Vision Pro headset becomes more affordable and widely adopted, it can be a game changer for digital graphic design in two key ways:

  • Creating new design systems and conventions. While creating applications for Apple Pro Vision doesn’t require learning new languages, interfaces themselves are far from the ones displayed on a flat screen. As they exist in 3D space and have different interaction conventions, designing visionOS interfaces is bound to become a trade of its own.
  • Transforming design workflows. Apps like Da Vinci Eye enable designers to preview their works in the real world. This means designers no longer have to suffer through the costly trial-and-error process of printing illustrations on merchandise like mugs or bottles.

On top of that, Apple Vision Pro comes with multiple spatial productivity apps that have the potential to redefine everyday working tasks in design and beyond. Its 360-degree working space can take multi-tasking and collaboration to the next level. Certain popular productivity tools are already available on visionOS, such as Microsoft 365 apps and Zoom.

4 Ways Apple Vision Pro Can Transform Digital Design

How exactly can Apple Vision Pro revolutionize digital arts and design? Let’s break down the four key examples – and how designers can benefit from spatial computing:

  • Design previewing. A digital design program like LiveSurface can place the digital design on any surface or object, essentially allowing professionals to preview how they fit in the real world without the need to create mockups. That can significantly speed up the design process and eliminate the sometimes costly trial-and-error part of it.
  • Working with references. Real-world objects can serve as references for a digital canvas. For example, Da Vinci Eye already allows you to superimpose a digital canvas over real-world objects. This can also speed up the design process and open it up to a new category of references and inspiration sources.
  • Using an infinite canvas. Juggling multiple windows is made easier with Apple Vision Pro as users can organize them in a 360-degree environment. So, designers no longer have to use multi-screen setups for work.

Creating the demand for AR designs. From games to productivity tools and education apps, Apple Vision Pro represents a gold mine of opportunities for innovative spatial app designs. That is likely to create a strong demand for AR and 3D interface designers.

In Conclusion

While digital design apps available on Apple Vision Pro aren’t as numerous as on Windows or macOS, the headset still marks a new leap in design technology – and technology overall. However, only time can tell whether this technology gets widely adopted, especially considering one significant barrier to entry: the price tag.

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