The Apple Vision Pro AR headset is the company’s first spatial computer
Yes it’s real, the Apple Vision Pro AR headset has finally been revealed after seven years of development. As CEO Tim Cook states, it’ll be “the first Apple product you look through, and not at.”
Launching the tech giant’s foray into “spatial computing,” Apple Vision Pro AR headset is controlled by the user’s eyes, hands, and finger movements. When wearing the device, users will see the apps they are accustomed to and be able to position them wherever they want in their space at any scale they choose. Users are able to control how much of their surroundings they see by turning a dial. They can also choose to expand apps to completely enclose their space, or they can launch certain apps in the areas around them.
The device can display passthrough video of the user’s eyes as part of a function called EyeSight, giving those in the immediate vicinity information about what the wearer is seeing within the headset. The Vision Pro, on the other hand, enables users to expand their computer displays into their virtual environments by connecting to Apple’s Mac series.
Video calling is set to reach even greater heights thanks to Apple’s first-ever “3D camera”. FaceTime will be able to display life-size people during video calls with enhanced depth in images and videos along with spatial audio. Another plus is that the Vision Pro has a specific video mode that enables users to change the size of their viewing screen in real-time. The device is also compatible with PS5 or Xbox controllers, with support for over 100 titles from the Apple Arcade collection.
Both Apple’s M2 processor, and a new chip named R1 that’s designed to operate the headset’s 12 cameras, five sensors, and microphones, will be powering the Apple Vision Pro AR headset. According to Apple’s VP of Industrial Design, Richard Horwath, the operating system is suitably named visionOS, building on Apple’s past user interfaces as the “first OS designed from the ground up for spatial computing.” The headset can operate for two hours on an external battery, or continuously when plugged in.
Now let’s talk about the build. The front of the Vision Pro is made of 3D-formed laminated glass, and it has a ribbed, wraparound head strap as part of its construction. The headset’s face pad can bend to fit different sizes, and custom optical inserts can be installed for those with eyeglasses. As for security, users will be authenticated through a new feature named Optic ID. This feature will utilize the Vision Pro’s built-in eye sensors to confirm the identity of the user.
Apple has not yet specified an exact release date, but has hinted at a window of early 2024. The Apple Vision Pro AR headset will cost $3,499.