You may not need to spend $3,500 on an Apple Vision Pro to experience part of what the VisionOS software has to offer. That’s because someone has managed to create a facsimile of Apple’s software that will run on the Meta Quest Pro — which, while expensive at $999, doesn’t cost nearly as much.
This take on VisionOS has been made by Supernova Technologies, with the goal of promoting the Nova UI framework for Unity. It’s not a full-scale copy of the operating system, and instead more like a demo. The idea is that you can test out Apple’s eye-tracking-centric interface and “pinch-click” well before the Vision Pro makes it to the Apple Store shelves.
The demo recreates VisionOS’s grid-style app layout, letting you navigate the menu and select apps hands-free just as you would with an actual Vision Pro. Unfortunately this is about it, and attempting to open an app doesn’t do anything.
You can’t load up the demo on any headset you like, either. Apple’s vision-based navigation means you need eye-tracking, so this software has been built for the Meta Quest Pro rather than the cheaper Quest 2 or upcoming Quest 3 headsets.
UploadVR also notes that the Quest Pro’s tracking cameras are on the underside of the headset, unlike Apple which has them pretty-much everywhere. So that limits its finger-tracking capabilities, and means you need to keep your hands within the sensor’s line of sight. However, the site notes the eye-tracking works reasonably well, provided you calibrate it correctly first.
So if you have a Meta Quest Pro handy, and you want to get a very basic idea of how the VisionOS interface is going to work, you can try this demo out now. All the relevant files needed to sideload the demo onto your headset can be found over at GitHub.
But if you’d rather wait and experience the full Vision Pro and VisionOS experience, it’s rumored that Apple may be offering demo sessions at the Apple Store in the near future. Though you may have to make an appointment first, rather than wandering in off the street. Official details on this are scarce, so we’ll have to be patient for now.
The Vision Pro headset isn't available to pre-order just yet, but Apple will let you sign up for availability updates over on its website. Assuming you have $3,500 to spend on the device when it launches next year. Of course if you’d rather wait and see, be sure to check our Apple Vision Pro hub for all the latest news and updates, and our Apple Vision Pro hands-on for our first hand experiences from WWDC 2023.