Apple enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Apple’s highly rumored headset, named “Vision Pro,” which is likely to reshape the way we experience mixed reality. This most awaited device launched on June 5, coinciding with the first day of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
Apple Vision Pro Overview:
Since Vision Pro supports all AR, VR, and MR, it lets users see their surroundings digitally, where they can view a mix of real-world and virtual elements or entirely virtual environments. It offers a unique experience that allows users to interact with the real and virtual worlds in exciting ways.
Design and Display
The Vision Pro looks sleeker but similar to existing headsets and features a more comfortable design. It has a curved visor (ski-goggle-like) design and features two OLED displays, packing a total of 23 million pixels across them. That’s more than a 4K TV per eye if you count pixels alone.
Processor and Battery
The headset integrates 2 chips for process handling. The primary processing is handled by, Apple’s M2 chip while the real-time processing is done by the brand-new R1 chip.
The Vision Pro headset features an external battery similar in size to the MagSafe Battery pack and is mounted on your waist. The battery is rechargeable, providing around 2 hours of battery supply. Or users can opt-in to use the Vision Pro while plugged into the wall.
Apple Vision Pro sports 5 sensors, 12 cameras, and half a dozen microphones to enable augmented and virtual reality experiences, in-air typing, voice recognition, hand tracking, and other unique technologies that work well with Apple’s products. It will also support people with glasses via Zeiss Optical Inserts that will attach to the Vision Pro lenses magnetically. It will have an irremovable cable with a magnetic attachment that securely locks in place when turned clockwise, preventing it from detaching during use.
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Apple Vision Pro’s “visionOS”
Apple Vision Pro runs on “visionOS”: an operating system for spatial computing.
This OS combines the real and virtual worlds to create a mixed reality. Virtual elements like windows and icons are displayed on top of your living room where you can interact with them via your eyes, your hands, and your voice. Apple Vision Pro tracks your vision so your eyes become your cursor and you can select elements just by looking at them. Thanks to the downward-facing cameras, hand controls are convenient as well. For instance, you can pinch your fingers to select or flick to scroll without the need for any extra controllers. Of course, you can always connect an XBOX or PS5 controller when you want to play games in VR. Things like searching for a video or a game can be done with dictation and Siri.
There’s also an innovative “EyeSight” feature that communicates to the external world. It lights up during use letting others know the user is unavailable. On the flip side, it can display the user’s eyes when they are looking through the headset.
Apple Vision Pro connects to your Mac so you can upscale your laptop’s content and become more productive in VR. This compatibility ensures that users enjoy a transition and take advantage of familiar apps while exploring the possibilities of mixed reality.
One of the unique features of the Apple Vision Pro Mixed Reality headset is its ability to present videos in a “virtual theater” where users feel present inside the movie. This, paired with the spatial audio setup, provides the ultimate immersive movie viewing experience like never before. During a FaceTime call, users will have the option to create their own digital avatar and interact within a virtual meeting room.
While meditation apps will enhance the experience with voice-overs, graphics, or music to facilitate a smooth meditation session.
But the cherry on top is the introduction of spatial photos and videos. Apple’s Vision Pro allows users to capture and relive moments in 3D. You can view your existing images, or live photos too but spatial photos/videos will be something else. Just with the click of a button, you can capture real moments that you can play down the road like you’re peering into memories. Besides that, Vision Pro will support floating windows on a single screen that enables multitasking. It will also remember where you are and play content that corresponds to the ambiance.
To top it all off, Apple promises the availability of thousands of iPhone and iPad apps for VisionOS Day 1.
“I think Apple may be considered late to the game when it comes to VR,” device expert Alvin Pullins told in an email interview.
Though Apple is all about premium and high-end tech, and people usually prefer its product, it should be borne in mind that plenty of headsets offer AR/VR simulation in a relatively cheaper range. Apple needs a compelling reason for people to choose Vision Pro over cheaper VR/AR options or rather utilize their smartphones for all tasks.
With competitors like Meta, Google, and Microsoft already established in the market, Apple needs to offer some unique features to stand out and I think they’ve done just that.
Apple Vision Pro Price and Availability
Apple announced Vision Pro yesterday on June 5 during WWDC. It costs $3500, which is more than twice the price of the most expensive phones on the market. The reason stated for the high price is that Apple intends to integrate advanced technology to enhance the mixed reality experience, i.e., lots of cameras, sensors, and dual processors, which contributes to the overall cost of the headset.
Vision Pro is primarily advertised for developers and Apple itself as a means to create AR, VR, and MR ecosystems. And this will allow Apple to launch non-Pro MR headsets in the future with toned-down specs and pricing accordingly.
- Meanwhile, check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy A24.