Apple Vision Pro

Experiments and Some Thoughts on Developing on VisionOS

Chris Laan
Chris Laan

“ TLDR; Very impressive piece of hardware. The more we use it the more we like it and even made a fun drawing app for it: AirDraw

Getting Our Hands on Apple Vision Pro

TBH we had very mixed feelings about the Apple Vision Pro before its release. In fact we didn't even attend any of the developer preview days because it meant a flight to Cupertino. We ended up getting one as we needed it for a client project and upon unboxing we were just blown away. Apple hit it out of the park. Obviously there are some drawbacks, namely price, but its form factor and Apple ecosystem means that this device will engage a whole new audience in spatial computing.

Now there are a ton of great reviews on this product and its potential from the likes of MB and other tech personalities so we won't get into all of that. We will just talk through a couple of development experiences with it, making AirDraw and a GIS tool demo.

We were just at a GIS conference, Geoweek, giving a talk and made a quick little demo of a Point Cloud Viewer as LiDAR point clouds are still the main data format for 3D geo data. We demo’d the viewer to a number of people, like Rami Tamimi, and it was really invigorating to see how people were amazed by the experience. Even those who had been using VR for years with systems like MagicLeap and Meta’ Quest were well impressed.


We made a quick little app for drawing in mixed reality mode as there were not any apps out on the Vision Pro yet. (am sure some very mature apps will arrive to app store shortly like TiltBrush). Feel free to download AirDraw. Its FREE ;)

Technical Challenges with Developing on the Apple Vision Pro.

Obviously this will change very rapidly as Apple updates tend to come fast and furious. As of this writing, February 2024, the main challenge is the Mixed Reality mode (pass-though or you can see the world around you) is limited to the RealityKit framework and USD file format. This means all of our work with SceneKit and Metal is out the window (for the time being). In the Immersive Mode view (no pass-though) you can do a lot more with graphics and take full advantage of 3D Game Engines like Unity.

If you are looking to use the Apple Vision Pro or have some technical questions don't hesitate to contact us at