The Wikipedia App meets Spatial Computing

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In February 2024, Apple released Vision Pro, and the Wikipedia apps teams were presented with the opportunity to make the iOS iPad app available via the app store. We received inquiries about Wikipedia being available on Vision Pro from members of our community and decided to visit Apple Labs to gain an understanding of how the app would perform in a spatial computing (evolution of Augmented and Virtual Reality) environment. 

As the team’s QA Engineer and the person closest, I traveled to Apple Labs in Cupertino, and below is a recap of that experience. 

There are apps built for spatial computing and apps that can work in a spatial computing environment. As an Apple Labs attendee, I was able to demo apps that were built specifically for immersive spatial computing. Sky Guide is an example of an app built specifically for spatial computing where users can see the constellations all around them and interact with them through the Vision Pro device. An example of an app that works on Vision Pro but was not specifically built for Vision Pro is the News App. The way someone would experience the News App was quite similar to how the Wikipedia app works on Vision Pro. It is the Wikipedia app you can download to your mobile device but as a giant window that can be engaged within your environment, as you can see in the images below. 

Although at this time the team can not prioritize creating a VisonPro specific app, we did think of a few features ideas that could exist if we prioritized optimization for spatial computing. 

  • Implementing UI ornaments for tools and options to increase the viewable space for Article content (see the floating toolbar above)
  • Enabling interaction with 3D objects from Commons in AR and VR spaces
  • Supporting multiple windows and interaction models within the app
  • Immersive engagement with multimedia content on Commons
  • Providing information and data for complex, interactive experiences in AR and VR surrounding users
  • Enhanced user interaction models for things like GLAM projects and others
  • Seeing articles around you based on Geo-location

As the Foundation explores future audiences, exploring new platforms will be key, but it must be done in partnership with our communities. With this in mind, I invite you to reach out via ios-support@wikimedia.org with your thoughts on a Wikipedia immersive experience.  

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