Apple is embracing virtual reality (VR) by enabling the use of SteamVR on Macs with its new MacOS, High Sierra. The tech giant demonstrated this development on the the HTC Vive VR system at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 (WWDC) earlier this week.
Through a newly-announced external GPU, developers and content creators will be able to use a beta of SteamVR and the new MacOS to access the Vive platform with their MacBooks.
The combination of support for the Vive headset and an external graphics card option means that VR development is about to get a broader, more Apple-friendly footprint.
The new MacOS Beta and the SteamVR for Mac beta is available now with a full release planned for later in the year.
The announcement further positions Vive as a key driver in the VR industry. In just the last month alone, the company has partnered with tech giants including Google, Intel and Apple, who are aligning their VR efforts around Vive. On stage during WWDC, Apple demonstrated its commitment to VR using a Vive with ILM and Unreal running on a Mac in front of thousands of developers.
Vive was built to be an open platform for VR, HTC says. The Vive ecosystem is expanding through efforts including the more than 60 companies in the global Vive X accelerator program that are driving VR technology, products like the Vive Tracker with new content and experiences for VR, and Viveport, a hardware agnostic content and distribution platform.