6 reasons iMac Pro is ready for the enterprise

The iMac Pro -- and the powerful applications you can run on it -- has much to offer many industries, including architecture, product design and film making.

Apple, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, enterprise, macOS

I’ve been inspired to make a few predictions after spending the morning looking at some of the powerful applications you can now run on a midrange iMac Pro.

Enterprises need the iMac Pro

Apple sees the way the industry is going. It’s decision last year to recommit to the pro Mac market followed years of criticism, but now it has made that declaration, it seems deadly serious in its determination to ensure that if PCs are going to be trucks, then it wants some of the most powerful trucks on the road to be Macs.

The powerful iMac Pro represents the company’s first physical articulation of its promise, and already it has so much to offer to so many industries. For example:

Architecture and interior design

Architects spend lots of time and money creating 3D models and video representations of their designs for clients.

Today I watched as changes were made to an airport layout in real time on iMac Pro. This was a convincing demonstration: Not only could items be added and removed, and changes applied to the design, but the software also enabled architects to stress test their design in terms of lighting conditions, rainfall patterns and more — all in real time.

The potential for architects and designers is ultra-clear: Using widely available software (TwinMotion) and a midrange iMac Pro (or high-end iMac), professionals in these fields can rapidly ideate their designs, share them, collaborate and more rapidly migrate their constructions from the drawing board into the real world. Similar solutions for engineering and medical analysis (Osirix MD) also exist.

Prototyping and product design

The powerful Radeon Vega graphics processors in combination with the 8-core or better iMac Pro means virtual design software can really shine.

It’s possible to ingest sketches and quickly transform them into editable wire-frame models and to render these models almost immediately in real time.

That’s only part of the story: Designers can also work with objects in virtual space, applying all manner of changes and effects while wearing a mass-market HTC Vive headset and using virtual tools. Gravity Sketch is already transforming the capacity to rapidly design and develop product prototypes using VR.

This kind of technology accelerates the time to bring products to market, and the iMac Pro is capable of handling all the rendering and imaging tasks. In real time.

The next-generation image library

One day soon, you won’t need to visit a location to create movie footage featuring that location.

Instead you’ll use stock 360-degree footage of locations, placing actors inside these virtual scenes and using the built-in color-management, balance and horizon tilt tools of Final Cut X to export 2D movies based on these stock assets for use in advertising, online viral clips, or even movies.

Why am I certain of this? Because I’ve seen enough to know it can already be done. These Macs can crunch through rendering and video/3D manipulation tasks that even the highest-end PCs struggle with. (In part because Apple also owns the OS.)

Film and broadcast

These technologies also matter to the film and broadcast industries. At the high end, iMac Pro can play RED 8K footage flawlessly in real time, or drive multiple streams of 4K output.

I also noted that Final Cut’s color management tools on iMac Pro already enable moviemakers to apply complex effect, such as changing the color of a person’s clothing, in real time.

These tasks once required the services of a dedicated colorist at a daily cost close to that of an iMac Pro, as well as a bank of Xserves to process the information.

The ability to apply the same tools to 360-degree footage opens up fresh opportunities for all kinds of video creatives, from making movies to developing convincing "filmic" VR and AR experiences.

That’s an important point — Apple’s new professional Macs are opening up an opportunity to develop new creative industries in the 3D, VR and augmented movie space.

Think role-playing games meets seeing the world from the point of view of the actor — you already find early iterations of this kind of thinking on Apple TV, LateShift, for example.


All of the above. Not only can creative teams look to expand brand identity with cutting-edge technologies, but they can more rapidly realize ideas and more affordably produce viral video for social networks and others at controlled and far more predictable cost.

I’m not alone as this review from Marques Brownlee shows

Software development

An increasingly forgotten historical figure once tried to enthuse software creators by yelling, “Developers, developers, developers,” at high volume while bouncing on stage.

Apple now offers tools developers can use to build real-time AR games in which you can choose who stands on that stage. Games will inevitably lead this industry, but Apple’s new pro Macs offer the kind of horsepower developers will be able to use to create compelling solutions for consumer experiences and enterprise solutions alike.

Collaboration software, project development, even team-based prototyping across time zones and geographical boundaries.

iOS should see big benefit here, as once you’ve created a solution for a Mac, it becomes a little easier to reproduce it for iOS — particularly as the division between the two platform is set to shrink in iOS 12.

The bottom line

Apple now boasts an end-to-end technology platform from which to drive a multitude of experiences on multiple formats — from VR glasses to movie theaters, smartphones and more. Not only that, but content created by its high-end solutions can now quickly reach hundreds of millions of compatible devices without risk of fragmentation.

If we see the iMac Pro as Apple’s desiderata promise of what’s to come, the Mac Pro (when it finally does appear) will become the de rigeur enterprise workstation, equipped with the kind of chops it takes to deliver on the digital transformation projects the world’s biggest businesses are now engaged upon.

No wonder HP has just entered the Mac business.

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Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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