Shoot spatial video with the iPhone 15 Pro

Then relive those past experiences using your Apple Vision Pro headset.

Karen Moltenbrey

Apple just announced the new iPhone 15s, which includes two regular models and two Pro models. There are differences between the Pro and non-Pro versions, including the chip. There’s another one—the ability to shoot spatial video, which will arrive later this year. Those immersive videos can then be enjoyed using Apple’s yet-to-be released Vision Pro AR headset.

What do we think? A lot can be said about the new Apple iPhone 15s, and some are taking to social media to express their opinions of these new devices. Many/most comments are along the lines of “meh,” saying the devices are more of the same. However, the video feature in the Pro versions will soon offer something unique: spatial video. Sounds nice, right? It sounds even more exciting if you are looking to buy the Apple Vision Pro when it is also released. Perhaps this capability/feature will encourage otherwise reluctant buyers to fork over the $3,500 for the headset.

new iPhones
Look what’s coming soon… the new Apple iPhone 15. Wait, there’s more to come. (Source: Apple)

Many are just warming up to the concept of spatial computing, and spatial video is a fuzzy concept. Leave it to Apple to bring it into the mainstream, initially with a device we are familiar with—our iPhone. And just as video greatly enhanced our memories of an event compared to a simple photograph, immersive video promises a similar leap—at least in concept, and most likely, in reality.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro to offer spatial video

Earlier this week, Apple announced its new iPhone 15 series, with two basic models and two Pro models and are covered extensively here. Apple also announced Series 9 smartwatches during its launch event. Somewhat overlooked amid all the glitz and glam (or non-glitz and glam, depending on your point of view) of the new phones was an interesting tidbit related to the Apple Vision Pro headset, announced in June for early 2024 delivery.

The iPhone 15 series will be available starting September 22, 2023. The iPhone 15 has a 48MP main camera and an ultrawide camera (with .5×, 1×, and 2× optical zoom options). The Pro versions have that and more, with a three-camera system that also includes a telephoto camera. In addition to the zoom options of the iPhone 15, the 15 Pro also offers a 3× zoom option, while the 15 Pro Max has a 5× zoom option.

In addition, there is a TrueDepth front camera on all the models. As for the video capabilities, they are nearly similar for the Pro and non-Pro versions.

iPhone camera
(Source: Apple)

But there is something even more special arriving “later this year,” Apple stated in a press release. This is when the iPhone 15 Pro will have a new dimension when it comes to video capture, with the ability to record spatial video for the Apple Vision Pro. “Users will be able to capture precious moments in three dimensions and relive those memories with incredible depth on Apple Vision Pro when it is available early next year in the US,” Apple stated.

According to the company, the spatial video is accomplished by the Pro ultrawide and the main cameras working in concert to generate three-dimensional video. As a result, people can relive special moments using their Vision Pro, or even share those moments with other Vision Pro users, giving them that same “being there” experience.

What exactly is spatial video? It’s basically an immersive 3D video clip. But, exactly how that will be done is not so clear. The assumption is users will choose a setting. If so, the question is whether they will have to determine which type of video to shoot—2D or 3D—before actually doing so. But then again, we sort of do that anyway now, choosing between photo and video.