Apple Vision Pro’s Visual Search: Identify, Copy, Translate, and Beyond

During the recent WWDC 2023 event, Apple made an exciting announcement about the upcoming Vision Pro headset. However, despite the reveal, many aspects of the device remain undisclosed as it won’t be released until 2024. Nevertheless, the release of the visionOS SDK has provided insights into the functionality of the platform.

The Vision Pro headset will run on Apple’s visionOS operating system, and one intriguing feature mentioned is “Visual Search.” This functionality appears to bear similarities to the Visual Lookup feature found on iPhones and iPads, indicating a potential familiar experience for users. Further information regarding the specifics of the Apple Vision Pro headset and its capabilities is eagerly awaited as its release date approaches.

The inclusion of Visual Search within the Vision Pro headset brings a wealth of capabilities to users. Through Visual Search, users can leverage the headset to access information about various items, identify and engage with text present in their surroundings, seamlessly transfer printed text from the physical world into applications using copy and paste functionality, and even perform text translations across 17 different languages.

The capabilities of the Vision Pro headset extend even further when it comes to interacting with real-world text. In the ‌visionOS‌ operating system, users can take action on various types of information contained within printed materials. For instance, if a printed handout contains a website link, the Vision Pro headset enables scanning the link, which seamlessly opens up a Safari window to display the corresponding website. Similarly, when encountering a recipe that specifies measurements in grams but you require ounces, the headset allows for convenient unit conversions, providing you with the desired information.

The real-time text translation feature of the Apple Vision Pro headset offers significant utility, particularly in travel scenarios or situations where quick translation of real-world text is required. The headset’s advanced capabilities allow for automatic detection of text and documents, akin to the functionality found on the iPhone, which enables users to interact with the recognized text.

This means that users can conveniently translate and understand the text they encounter in real-time, enhancing their ability to navigate and comprehend foreign languages, and facilitating seamless communication in diverse environments. The Vision Pro headset’s ability to leverage text detection and interaction opens up new possibilities for engaging with the world and breaking down language barriers.

According to the internal code of visionOS, it appears that the Apple Vision Pro headset will indeed implement functionality limitations or potentially cease functioning altogether when the user is in motion at high speeds. The system includes alerts that notify the wearer with a message stating “Moving at Unsafe Speed.” This feature seems to be designed with safety in mind, potentially to prevent accidents or maintain optimal performance during dynamic activities.

We cal also raise a valid point regarding the use of the Apple Vision Pro headset during airplane travel, given the limitations mentioned about its functionality during high-speed movement. Interestingly, it seems that visionOS includes a specific feature called “Travel Mode” to address this scenario.

According to the available information from visionOS code, when Travel Mode is enabled, users will be able to continue interacting with the Apple Vision Pro headset while on an airplane. However, it is important to note that certain restrictions may apply in this mode. The code suggests that inputs or actions available to the user might be limited, implying that some features or functionalities may be curtailed during air travel. Additionally, it appears that users must remain stationary for Travel Mode to function correctly.

The visionOS SDK has indeed shed light on another noteworthy feature of the Apple Vision Pro headset, namely the inclusion of a Guest Mode. This mode allows owners of the device to grant access to other individuals without requiring authentication through Optic ID, which is likely a biometric authentication method.

By enabling Guest Mode, users can facilitate interactions with the device for others, while ensuring that personal data such as photos and passwords remain hidden and inaccessible. This provides a level of privacy and security, preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information while still allowing for shared usage.


Steve Moser, Flipe Espósito

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