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What Is Spatial Video?

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Spatial Video

The world of technology is ever-evolving, and one of the latest advancements that have been making waves is spatial video. This innovative technology, introduced by tech giant Apple at an Apple event for their iPhone 15 Pro series and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro headset, promises to redefine the way we capture and relive our memories. But what exactly is spatial video, and how does one record spatial video? In this article, I will explore this fascinating topic.

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Defining Spatial Video

Spatial Video

Spatial video is a type of advanced 3D video technology that allows the viewer to experience a video in three dimensions. Unlike conventional 2D videos where viewers are restricted to a flat perspective, spatial videos offer a depth perception that changes as the viewer moves, similar to looking at a hologram. This technology is fundamentally different from 3D or VR180 videos as it offers six degrees of freedom, providing an immersive viewing experience.

How Spatial Video Works

Spatial Video

The magic behind spatial videos lies in the use of LiDAR sensors, a technology that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distances. In the case of the iPhone 15 Pro, the phone's main and ultra-wide cameras work in tandem to create a three-dimensional video. This is achieved by manipulating the video captured by these sensors and combining them to form a stereoscopic video, resulting in a lifelike 3D visual.

The Spatial Video Experience

Spatial Video

Upon playback, spatial videos provide a fully immersive experience, allowing users to relive captured memories in a way that's far more engaging than traditional videos. The 3D effect gives the viewer the sensation of being part of the captured moment, offering a glimpse into the scene from different perspectives based on the viewer's movements.

Recording Spatial Videos

Spatial Video

To record a spatial video file, users will need to select a new mode in the camera app. Currently, this feature is only available on the new phones iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. When recording spatial video files, the phone must be held horizontally in landscape mode, and the spatial video mode needs to be toggled on. As spatial videos require more power to process, they are currently only supported by the iPhone 15 Pro.

Viewing Spatial Videos

Spatial Video

The spatial videos captured on the iPhone 15 Pro can only be viewed in 3D on the upcoming Apple Vision Pro VR headsets. However, these videos can also be saved and played back in a normal 2D video format on other devices. This versatility ensures that captured moments can be shared and enjoyed universally, regardless of the device.

File Format and Size

Spatial videos use a unique file format that is compatible with the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) standard. This format allows for efficient compression of the video content, resulting in smaller file sizes while maintaining high-quality visuals. On average, a minute of spatial video consumes around 130MB of storage space.

The Future of Spatial Video

While the spatial video technology is still in its early stages, its potential is undeniable. As more devices start supporting this technology, it's likely that we'll see a shift in the way we capture and share our memories. Apple's introduction of spatial video is just the beginning, and we can expect more advancements in this area in the coming years.

The Role of Spatial Videos in Apple's Ecosystem

Apple's plans are to position spatial videos as a pivotal element in its ecosystem, particularly with the upcoming release of the Apple Vision Pro VR headset. The company's intention is to make spatial videos a standard media format, similar to how photos and regular videos are currently used.

Spatial Videos and Memories

Apple already has a feature called Memories in its Photos app that curates collections of photos and videos. With the introduction of spatial videos, it's possible that we might see a new type of immersive memory that blends seamlessly with the existing Memories feature. This would allow users to relive their captured moments in a more vivid and engaging way.

The Impact on Creators

The introduction of spatial videos opens up new possibilities for content creators. With this technology, creators can produce immersive content that offers a unique viewing experience. This could potentially revolutionize industries such as filmmaking, advertising, and more.

Considerations and Limitations

While spatial video is undoubtedly an exciting technology, there are certain considerations and limitations to keep in mind. For instance, the current resolution and frame rate are limited to 1080p at 30fps. Additionally, the spatial video mode doesn't allow for adjustments in brightness and contrast, which could affect the video quality in low-light conditions.


Spatial 3D videos represent a significant leap in video technology, promising to transform the way we capture and relive our memories. As this technology continues to evolve and become more widespread in this changing world, we can expect to see an increasing number of applications and use cases. While there are still questions and uncertainties surrounding spatial video, one thing is clear: the future of video is here, and it's spatial.

To learn more about the Apple Vision Pro, feel free to read the following article: "Apple Vision Pro"

I am RayCee the Artist, a professional portrait photographer, event photographer, and wedding photographer, and if you would like to schedule a photoshoot with me, please contact me at!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!


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