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The Apple Vision Pro was announced at Apple’s WWDC event amongst a host of other exciting features and improvements to operating systems. We can now confirm the mixed reality headset will be integrated into Apple’s ecosystem of software and is allegedly targeted for communication, entertainment, and more. Interestingly, Apple calls it a spatial computer, claiming that it’s the most powerful and immersive immersive personal electronics device, ever.
Let’s take a look at what we know so far.
Apple Vision Pro release window – will it get pushed back?
Apple has mentioned we could see the Vision Pro release in early 2024 in the U.S. However, as we’ve seen with other tech, this release window may be shifted back for a number of unforeseen reasons. As usual, prominent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has weighed in, predicting that the Apple headset may not begin mass production until later that year.
Based on their tweet, one of the reasons we may not see headsets start flying out the door in late 2023 or 2024 could be, for lack of a better phrase, to test the waters. This is Apple’s first mixed realty headset, and it does mark somewhat uncharted territory.
Currently, with the information we have, the release window is early 2024, but as for a release date in different regions, that is still very much up in the air.
Apple Vision Pro features and specs
Apple has announced that it will “code new worlds”, so how does this translate to the specs and features of their mixed-reality headset? Here are some of the highlights:
Immersive UI with Apple Apps
Unlike any other MR headset, the Vision Pro shows you your home view with the digital one layered over it. Think of almost any Black Mirror episode where characters are casually interacting with a translucent projected display. In Apple’s words, it will allow apps to be “freed from the confines of a display”. The design reportedly understands scale and distance, and will be able to respond dynamically to your environment and movement. More on that below.
Unlike the Quest 3 which will use controllers with haptic feedback, the Apple mixed reality headset is will use 3D sensors powered by the R1 chip to detect the user and the environment around them. These sensors can be used for mapping rooms and might also be able to detect people’s facial expressions, plus microphones for voice control using Siri.
The Vision Pro will use the new visionOS software. It’s brand new and will support the ultra low latency requirements required for spatial computing. It will feature a three-dimensional interface which is what allows you to view them side by side in your surroundings.
Unlike other frankly quite average AR/VR headsets, the new visionOS software eliminates the need for additional hardware components. All you need is your vision and fingers
The Eyesight feature will allow the Vision Pro headset wearers to stay connected with people around them. So, if the user is immersed in an experience, you’ll be able to see their eyes.
To the dismay of more than a handful of Apple fans, the Vision Pro will cost a steep $3,499 upon its release. You can find out whether you can pre order and buy the headset here. It’s clearly a more premium device compared to the Quest 3, and its inaccessible price confirms this. Interestingly, the price tag is even higher than the $3,00 that was rumoured.
That’s not to say a more accessible VR headset couldn’t come in the future though. In fact, according to the Independent, Apple could also be working on a separate headset that would be released later for a lower price. This is unconfirmed though.