Apple’s mixed reality headset has turned out to be really real and was announced at the company’s annual flagship event, WWDC.
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to announce the company’s new “revolutionary product,” the Vision Pro, and Cook says the headset will introduce “spatial computing” to consumers. While the keynote was heavily mentioned about the Vision Pro’s augmented reality capabilities, it’s also able to switch to virtual reality seamlessly using its built-in dial.
“Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and the iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro is introducing us to spatial computing for years to come, unlike anything created before, with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations,” Tim Cook said in a press release. It opens up amazing experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers.”
As with any other computing platform announced by Apple, the Vision Pro will use VisionOS, the first operating system designed from the ground up for spatial computing. Unlike other Apple operating systems such as iOS and MacOS, VisionOS is a 3D user interface that “liberates the application from the boundaries of the screen”.
Apple says that Vision Pro will allow users to be more productive, access their favorite apps and find new ways to multitask if they decide to. Based on how Apple markets the headset, it looks like the headset will act more as a direct competitor to the Meta Quest Pro and not to gaming-focused headsets like the Quest 2 or Quest 3.
The headset will include two of Apple’s internal chips: the M2 chip, which was announced last year at WWDC 2022, and the R1 chip. The R1 chip is designed to process input from the Vision Pro’s 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones to ensure that content appears in real time to users. The R1 fetches new images to Vision Pro displays in 12 milliseconds, according to Apple.
In terms of battery life, the speaker is designed for all-day use when plugged in, and “up to 2 hours of use” with the Vision Pro’s external battery, as shown in the image below.
Vision Pro also includes a feature called EyeSight, which Apple describes as “an exceptional innovation that helps users stay connected with those around them.”
The Vision Pro includes two high-resolution screens, and Apple hopes to enable users to use the projector as a personal movie theater with a huge screen and an advanced spatial sound system, and while it was expected that Apple TV + will be supported on the Vision Pro, we also received confirmation that Disney Plus will be Available on the headset on the first day.
Apple has confirmed that the Vision Pro will be released sometime “early next year” and will retail for $3,499, and Apple says the headset will be available first in the US.