iPhone 15 Pro’s spatial video is a killer feature we should be talking more about

Apple just quietly dropped the ability to record 3D video on the iPhone 15 Pro and I can’t wait to try it

Spatial video on iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 15 Pro got its full release this week at the big Apple Event in Cupertino, and while this year’s show didn’t have a surprise ‘One more thing,’ there was one feature that deserved a lot more attention. 

After the extensive description of the iPhone 15’s new camera system – which is an impressive array – Greg “Joz” Joswiak went on to describe the new video features, including new 60fps 4K ProRes, LOG encoding and a little thing called spatial video for viewing on the Apple Vision Pro

Spatial video is essentially 3D video and the iPhone 15 is able to record it natively by using the capture from both the main and Ultra-wide cameras to provide a stereoscopic video capture. This can then be viewed in 3D, using the Vision Pro. It’s not clear what format this video will take and whether it will also be able to be played on other spatial computing, 3D or VR devices. 

Spatial video on iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Presumably you will still be able to watch the footage back in 2D on the iPhone itself but it could be limited to the Vision Pro for full spatial playback. I hope not, as it would be great if you could also watch these on other screens that support 3D. 

With the ability to shoot spatial video, the iPhone 15 Pro will presumably also be able to capture spatial photos in the same way. While still spatial images are perhaps not as exciting, the ability to view them is likely to be greater. It could also help with the creation of AR objects that you could explore on screen when captured. 

The full potential of spatial capture perhaps won’t be clear until the Vision Pro headset launches next year, and this functionality won’t be available on launch. However, I feel Apple has underplayed the importance of this feature, and I can’t wait to give it a try. 

In the meantime, there’s plenty to explore with the new iPhone 15 Pro lenses, especially the new 5x telephoto camera. The next-generation portraits feature that captures rich depth information, allowing you to pick your point of focus later, using focus and depth control. It’s the stuff that once only existed in specialist cameras like the Lytro and is now just a click away. 

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.