It’s been hard to avoid news about the Apple Vision Pro, the company’s entry into the virtual reality market, in recent days. It was officially released on Friday to much fanfare, but how will it fare in the enterprise?
It’s way too early to say, but the company is doing everything possible to make it friendly to IT departments. For starters, it announced that it is incorporating the Vision Pro into the Apple Device management process, which should make IT pros happy. That means IT can manage these devices in the same way they have been handling iPhones, iPads, watches and Macs, including easy activation when employees onboard or get new devices.
In the past, companies have looked at augmented reality and virtual reality enterprise use cases such as manufacturing, design and field service. Apple sees guided work that you do in the moment for training or execution of a task as a big use case for this. Having an unlimited desktop with access to regular work applications could be useful for knowledge workers too.
Today, the company is announcing that the beta release of visionOS 1.1 includes device management for the first time. “We're going to bring device management capability into that beta,” Jeremy Butcher, worldwide product marketing for enterprise at Apple, told TechCrunch.
“We know that in order to unlock all of [the power of the Apple Vision Pro], businesses are going to want to manage these devices at scale. So the good news is we've got a lot of great technology to bring over to Vision Pro in that regard,” he said.
He points out that the company is giving IT pros tools they would expect to find on any Apple device like single sign-on, identity management and security. “So we're bringing that over to Vision Pro as well. So it's MDM (mobile device management), it's support for things like managed Apple IDs. It's things like a single sign on extension capabilities,” he said, offering some examples.
Apple sees the enterprise as a potentially large part of the AVP market and it will take the ability to connect to existing systems to make that happen, says Steve Sinclair, who is part of worldwide product marketing for Apple Vision Pro.
“We're really focused on making sure that we have the enterprise building blocks that the companies expect for networking support, for making sure that we're managing and protecting corporate data with data protection, being able to start with some of the basic blocking and tackling type capabilities.” Those could include supporting tools like Microsoft Exchange, Google Workspace and cloud infrastructure support that he says enterprise customers are going to expect.
Certainly partners like Jamf, the Minnesota-based company that helps companies manage Apple devices, like seeing the AVP brought into the management fold.
“Apple Vision Pro offers businesses an exciting opportunity to transform the way employees get work done. And importantly, it supports all of the core foundations of an enterprise-grade device from Secure Enclave to device management to biometric authentication to zero trust networking," Matt Vlasach, VP of product management at Jamf, told TechCrunch.
The device management features are available in beta starting today.