As anticipated, Apple introduced a gamut of new hardware and software devices at its Worldwide Developers Conference, in Cupertino on 5 June. But what caught everyone’s attention above all is the Apple Vision Pro headset.
Apple’s first mixed reality headset has been in the works for a while now. Let’s take a closer look.
Apple is calling the Vision Pro a revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world, while allowing users to stay present and connected to others. According to the company, the headset introduces a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by the most natural and intuitive inputs possible — a user’s eyes, hands, and voice. The headset features visionOS, the world’s first spatial operating system, which will allow users to interact with digital content in a way that feels like it is physically present in their space.
The device has a glass front, an alumium frame, five sensors, 12 cameras, a display for each eye, and a computer that is cooled with a fan, an AFP report explains, adding: smaller than a scuba diving mask, Vision Pro will run mainly by being plugged into a power source in a clear effort to preserve a sleek design. A cord-attached battery pack, which would slide into your pocket, would work for no more than two hours, the report adds.
The $3,499 gadget will focus on gaming, streaming video and conferencing. Apple says the Vision Pro will change the way users interact with their favorite apps, enjoy TV shows and movies, and connect with others on FaceTime. The headset will also have support for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. Users can set up the perfect workspace or bring the powerful capabilities of their Mac into Vision Pro wirelessly, creating an enormous, private, and portable 4K display with incredibly crisp text, Apple said in a press statement.
Speaking to the AFP, Insider Intelligence principal analyst Yory Wurmser said that the Apple Vision Pro delivers mixed reality technology that clearly situates the user in their environment. "Whereas Meta Quest and other devices are virtual reality-first, Vision Pro keeps the user in the present and emphasizes the mixed reality features -- unless they choose otherwise," Wurmser added.
According to the report, Vision Pro allows wearers to twist a watch-like "crown" to go from having interactive imagery augment one's surroundings to being fully immersed in a rich 3-D experience that feels like being in a video or on a sports playing field, based on a hands-on demonstration showed at the WWDC event.
Meta’s new-generation Quest 3 headset will be available later this year at a starting price of $500. Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg had revealed further details on the Quest 3 just last week. According to a Reuters report, the device will be 40% thinner than the company's previous headset and feature color mixed reality, which combines augmented and virtual reality elements.
(With inputs from agencies)