Meta announces new iPhone spatial video support for the Quest, but it doesn't make much sense

Owners of any iPhone can now send spatial videos to the Meta Quest headset, removing the need to use an iPhone 15 Pro for the first time.

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Spatial video is a pretty cool feature and it's one that iPhone and Apple Vision Pro owners have been enjoying for a little while now. The feature takes videos that have been recorded using stereoscopic cameras to create a 3D effect, and while iPhones can't use that extra information to create a 3D video, the Apple Vision Pro of course can. But you need to capture that content using the headset itself or an iPhone 15 Pro series device. The situation was the same with the Meta Quest headset, too. But things have changed somewhat.

Those things changed thanks to a Meta press release that both sounds amazing and makes little sense at the same time. That press release argues that a new Meta Quest v65 software update brings with it a number of new features, not least the ability to view spatial videos captured via other cameras, not just the iPhone 15 Pro.

Meta announces new iPhone spatial video support for the Quest, but it doesn't make much sense 02

The press release says that users can upload videos using the Meta Quest mobile app, enabling them to view content "like never before." The press release then goes on to reiterate the fact that this applies to any iPhone, noting that while playback originally required that content be captured via an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, that's no longer the case. In fact, any iPhone that has iOS 17 or later installed can provide spatial videos for use on the Meta Quest headset.

We're not entirely sure how that is going to work, however. It's possible that Meta is pulling some additional depth data from the videos created using an iPhone's Camera app, but we're a little dubious as to what that quality might be like. Apple requires the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to be used if Apple Vision Pro owners want to view spatial videos, suggesting it's aware that the best way to get a great experience is to actually use two cameras. So what gives?

That's something we've yet to fully understand, but it's something that might all change soon enough anyway. Apple is thought to be moving the cameras around on the back of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus to allow both to capture spatial videos for the first time, too. We can then expect all new iPhones to offer the same feature moving forward.

If Apple sticks to its usual release pattern we can expect it to announce the new iPhones in September.

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NEWS SOURCES:apple.com, apple.com, meta.com

Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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