It was an open secret. But we all assumed that in the Cupertino offices, they were working on augmented and virtual reality glasses.
Apple has announced an augmented reality headset called the Apple Vision Pro that mixes “to perfection” the real and digital world.
“It is the first Apple product in which you look through it, not at it”, Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, said of the device, which looks like a pair of ski goggles. As rumored, it carries a separate battery and is controlled by eyes, hands and voice.
Vision Pro is primarily positioned as an augmented reality headset, but you can switch between augmented reality and full virtual reality with a single button.
The device does not require a controller and navigation is done through rows of application icons by simply looking at them. You can touch to select and swipe to scroll, and you can also give voice commands.
Apple promises that you won’t be isolated from the people around you. The glasses will display your eyes using a system called EyeSight.
The glasses have a glass front and an aluminum frame that houses sensors, cameras, the display, and the chips (Apple’s M2) which, apparently, are cooled with a fan. The mask and the strap of the glasses are lined with fabric and are modular, and Apple claims that they can flex to fit different face shapes and head sizes.
The headband is grooved and adjusts to the back of the head, and different sizes and styles of bands can be interchanged. Zeiss has created custom optical inserts that magnetically attach to the lenses for people who wear glasses. It has an external battery that lasts up to 2 hours and can be connected using a “flexible woven cable” to fit in a pocket.
The glasses have been in development for years and apparently have gone through several iterations and years of delays. It is set to become CEO Tim Cook’s signature product in Apple’s lineup and has garnered praise from industry experts, although it will enter a market that has not taken off yet.
Apple Vision Pro price and release date
We now know the price, and it’s insane. The Apple Vision Pro starts at $3,499 and will be available for sale next year (2024). The price is undoubtedly outrageous and will only go up, depending on the hardware they come with.
Its main competitor will likely be Meta and its Quest lineup, which has enjoyed relative success with the gaming-focused Quest 2 headset but has had a more mixed reception with its general-use Quest Pro.
Some of the links added in the article are part of affiliate campaigns and may represent benefits for Softonic.