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Apple Vision Pro crushes competition in the most sophisticated tests yet

Published Feb 15th, 2024 8:27AM EST
Apple Vision Pro spatial computer.
Image: Jonathan S. Geller

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Apple Vision Pro is the holy grail of mixed reality headsets, although Apple’s spatial computing needs at least four generations to show its true potential. Still, while Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, might call Meta Quest 3 better than Vision Pro, this is really not the case.

In the latest benchmark comparison with the OptoFidelity Buddy test system, OptoFidelity discovered what most of us might have assumed: Apple Vision Pro crushes the competition in latency, photon-to-photon test.

visionOS 1.0.2Image source: Apple Inc.

How does this sophisticated test work? And why it’s such a big deal for Apple Vision Pro

One of the biggest challenges with mixed reality devices is the see-through latency, which makes seeing the world through lenses almost perfect or like a nightmare of dizziness. With Apple Vision Pro now available, the company compared it with HTC VIVE XR Elite, Meta Quest 3, and Meta Quest Pro.

As explained in a blog post, photon-to-photon latency describes “the time it takes for the image to be transferred through the headset to the user’s vision.” In this testing, OptoFidelity measured the latency by calculating the time difference between the lit of the light and the sense of that light on the location of the perceiver.

The company says the BUDDY 6 backlight sensor has a high enough frequency to capture the relevant changes that might interfere with the testing, such as the frequency of the blinking target, the frequency of the Device Under Test (DUT) see-through camera, the DUT display frequency, and the frequency of the sensor. OptoFidelity also chose to show latency values with the lowest latency the DUT generates when its cameras and displays run on their individual frequencies.

Apple Vision Pro latency, photon-to-photon testImage source: OptoFidelity

With that, Apple Vision Pro had a ridiculously low latency compared to the other mixed reality headsets. Apple claims the see-through latency is 12ms, but this test showed ~ 11ms. The competitor’s results are in the range of 35-40ms, previously considered a good standard level.

That said, while these devices are usable, once you try Apple Vision Pro, you might likely feel dizzy with these other headsets, as latency is pretty much like you were seeing the world without lenses at all.

Wrap up

Apple Vision Pro is undoubtedly one of the nicest pieces of hardware in recent years. Still, if you have bought one and are planning to return, you might have to do it soon. If you’re on the verge of purchasing a Vision Pro or keeping it, BGR review might help you decide.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.