In the leadup to the launch of Apple Vision Pro, the company is sending very clear instructions about the terms and conditions of using its gear to developers who want to work with it.
- Apple’s new virtual reality (VR) technology is shipping to developers with strict rules about how the technology can be accessed and used.
- According to a six-page document obtained by Fortune, developers that want to use the hardware will be allowed to borrow the devices for a time under strict rules that limit who can see or access them.
- Unauthorized users include family members and non-developer employees, with developers being told implicitly to use the device in private spaces where it cannot be seen or documented.
- The devices can only be used or seen by developers or otherwise stored in a locked waterproof Pelican case in a locked room.
- The devices also cannot be removed from the premises of the shipping address, nor can they be posted on social media. Developers must report to Apple contacts if they leave the case locked or alone for extended periods of time.
Why It’s Important
Developers who want to build applications or software for Vision Pro must be able to access the hardware to test its capabilities and limitations. This leaves a decided point of weakness for Apple—a company that has faced numerous product leaks in the past and is deadly afraid of letting the media or social media get ahold of the technology prior to its launch in 2024.
The launch of Apple’s VR hardware next year—what it is calling a spatial computer with mixed-reality headsets and a 3D camera—marks one of the largest product launches in the company’s history, with a $3,500 price tag.
The strict user rules Apple is enforcing place burdensome restrictions and responsibilities on developers that need access to the hardware, which could result in strenuous legal penalties and damages to developers should the technology leak to the press in the coming months.
Apple Vision Pro, which has been rumored to have been in development for years, was officially revealed last month at the company’s World Wide Developers Conference and demonstrated to the public under tightly controlled conditions.