Apple’s much-anticipated AR headset, the Apple Vision Pro, has finally been unveiled after seven years of development. This marks a significant moment for the tech giant, confirming the existence of the long-rumored product. The Apple Vision Pro made its debut at WWDC, leaving consumers eager to know the price and release date.
Priced at $3,499, the Apple Vision Pro is set to be available for purchase in early 2024. To put this in context, Meta recently launched the Quest 3 for $499, while the Quest 2 is currently selling at $299. It’s important to note that Meta’s high-performance headset initially came with a price tag of $1,499 but can now be found at some retailers for $999.
Unlike Meta’s focus on virtual reality, the Apple Vision Pro is primarily centered around augmented reality (AR), allowing users to interact with technology while remaining aware of their surroundings. Hand tracking is a key feature, eliminating the need for separate controllers.
During the product’s introduction, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, emphasized its groundbreaking capabilities, stating, “With Vision Pro, you’re no longer limited by a display.” Apple refers to it as “spatial computing” rather than traditional mixed reality.
The headset’s design resembles ski goggles and is intended for indoor use. It features an aluminum frame, curved glass, physical image capture controls, and a digital crown for adjustments. Integrated “audio pods” provide high-quality sound with spatial audio technology.
Under the hood, the Apple Vision Pro is powered by the M2 chip, with a new R1 chip dedicated to video streaming. Its micro-OLED displays boast an impressive 64 pixels per unit area, equivalent to an iPhone pixel. Apple has also partnered with Zeiss to offer custom prescription glass inserts.
One noteworthy feature is “EyeSight,” which uses a front-facing display to reveal the wearer’s eyes, compensating for the opaque visor. This creates a lifelike representation of the user when interacting with others who are also wearing the headset.
Apple’s focus seems to lean towards work-related functionality, including email and desktop projection, rather than gaming. While it does support standard games, it offers a large screen projection experience instead of full-fledged virtual reality.
Disney is the first content partner, with Disney+ available at launch. Apple has introduced VisionOS, a new operating system tailored specifically for spatial computing. It is compatible with Microsoft Office apps and popular teleconferencing services, and there will be a dedicated App Store for the headset.
To enhance security, a new version of FaceID, called OpticId, has been implemented, and camera data will be processed onboard.
The Apple Vision Pro is poised to revolutionize the AR headset market, offering a unique spatial computing experience. If you’re eager to get your hands on this groundbreaking tech product, start saving up because it’s likely to be in high demand when it becomes available!