Apple Inc. has unveiled the Apple Vision Pro, a revolutionary augmented reality (AR) headset that marries the digital realm with the physical world in what CEO Tim Cook hailed as “the first Apple product you look through, and not at.” The device, appearing like high-tech ski goggles, introduces a new dimension of interaction with digital content that is not merely viewed but experienced.
Slated for release in the early part of next year, the Vision Pro is set to retail at a hefty price tag of $3,499. This pricing underlines its appeal towards the enterprise sector rather than everyday consumers. That said, the “Pro” suffix in the name hints at the possibility of a more budget-friendly version appearing on the horizon.
The headset is set to debut in the US market early next year, with plans to expand to other regions as the year progresses.
Apple’s foray into the AR space with the Vision Pro comes after seven years of intensive development and promises a new era of spatial computing, where users aren’t bound by conventional displays. This step signifies a shift from simply observing the digital world to interacting and engaging with it more naturally and intuitively.
Apple Vision Pro: Designed for Controller Free Usage
The Vision Pro is an AR-first device with the ability to transition between augmented and full virtual reality experiences. The headset is controller-free and uses a unique interface navigated by eye tracking, hand gestures, and voice commands, reflecting Apple’s commitment to creating more intuitive and immersive digital experiences.
Crucially, the Vision Pro is designed to ensure users aren’t cut off from their real-world environment. The AR headhaset employs EyeSight, a system that shows the wearer’s eyes, keeping the social interaction aspect intact. When switched to full VR mode, a glowing screen obscures the user’s eyes, indicating unavailability for interaction.
Vision Pro Supports Full Color Real-World Passthrough
The Vision Pro also utilizes passthrough video technology, allowing users to perceive their real-world surroundings in full color while projecting 3D objects into the real space. Users can engage with these objects in innovative ways, such as pulling them out from a message thread into real-world space.
Remote communications are made more engaging through the use of spatial audio, allowing users to arrange FaceTime participants as “video tiles” around a room. The headset also supports the capturing of 3D videos using an inbuilt camera, further blurring the lines between physical and virtual experiences.
In addition to its spatial computing capabilities, Apple Vision Pro offers entertainment content from premium providers like Disney, fostering a fusion of immersive entertainment with AR technology. The headset supports Bluetooth accessories and enables users to connect their Mac for use within the headset, underscoring its versatile applications.
Apple Positions Vision Pro as Signature Product
Apple Vision Pro is positioned as the company’s signature product under Tim Cook’s leadership. The AR headset is anticipated to be a key competitor to Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro, notwithstanding the mixed responses these have received. While the consumer market for such technology is still maturing, Apple’s entry into the AR and VR arena signifies a bold leap into an exciting, albeit nascent, industry.
It is clear that Apple is treading carefully by unveiling the product to attract more developers. This approach hints at Apple’s aim to create a robust ecosystem of applications and experiences around the Vision Pro. With renders and initial demonstrations creating a palpable buzz, it is evident that the world is eager to see how Apple’s AR dream unfolds in the coming months.
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