New Apple Vision Pro video gives us a taste of escaping to its virtual worlds

A person views an image on a virtual screen while wearing an Apple Vision Pro headset.
(Image credit: Apple)

The promise of Apple’s Vision Pro headset – or any of the best virtual reality headsets, for that matter – is that it can transport you to another world, at least for a while. Now, we’ve just gained a preview of how Apple’s device will do this in a whole new way.

That’s because the M1Astra account on X (formerly known as Twitter) has begun posting videos showing the Vision Pro’s Yosemite Environment in action, complete with sparkling snow drifts, imposing mountains and beautiful clear blue skies.

It looks like a gorgeous way to relax and shut out the world around you. You’ll be able to focus on the calm and tranquillity of one of the world’s most famous national parks, taking in the majestic surroundings as you move and tilt your head.

This is far from the only location that comes as part of the Vision Pro’s Environments feature – users will be able to experience environs from a sun-dappled beach and a crisp autumnal scene to the dusty plains of the Moon in outer space.

Immersive environments

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The Environments feature is designed to be a way for you to not only tune out the real world, but to add a level of calmness and focus to your workstation. That’s because the scenes they depict can be used as backgrounds for a large virtual movie screen, or as a backdrop to your apps, video calls and more.

But as shown in one video posted by M1Astra, you'll also be able to walk around in the environment. As the poster strolled through the area, sun glistened off the snow and clouds trailed across the sky, adding life and movement to the virtual world.

To activate an environment, you’ll just need to turn the Vision Pro’s Digital Crown. This toggles what you see between passthrough augmented reality and immersive virtual reality. That sounds like it should be quick and easy, but we’ll know more when we get to test out the device after it launches.

Speaking of which, Apple’s Vision Pro is still months away from hitting store shelves (the latest estimates are for a March 2024 release date), which means there’s plenty of time for more information about the Environments feature to leak out. What’s clear already, though, is that it could be a great thing to try once the headset is out in the wild.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.