Apple’s new augmented reality (AR) headset, Apple Vision Pro, will see integration with a selection of Microsoft Office products.
Announced at Apple’s WWDC event, the $3,499 eyewear will work with Excel, Word, and Teams for a more immersive experience, it is hoped. The interface can be controlled with one’s eyes.
From the demonstrations at WWDC, it looked as if the software more closely resembled the web versions of the productivity tools, rather than the desktop apps.
Microsoft Teams specifically will also support Apple’s 3D personas, avatars of your face that are generated by AI and also supported by Zoom and Webex on the Vision Pro’s platform.
Other vendors will also support the latest gadget from Apple, including popular game engine Unity and Adobe, which is making Lightroom compatible so that photo editing can be controlled using the headset, again with your eyes and also your hands.
Microsoft’s own AR headset, HoloLens, appears to have gone AWOL, with worrying news earlier this year that the project may have bitten the dust after many employees within the division were laid off.
Instead, the tech giant appears to have shifted focus in recent years, perhaps due to the falling revenue of its once flagship Windows OS sector.
Therefore, Microsoft’s keenness to integrate Office with the latest hardware is not surprising, despite Apple being its erstwhile nemesis. When the M1 chips were announced, Microsoft was determined to have its software play nice with the new chip.
Microsoft now seems more interested in its productivity software and services such as Office and cloud computing. Of course, AI, being one of the biggest investors in OpenAI, the firm behind the ubiquitous ChatGPT – it’s shoehorning its models into every product it can.