Apple took the wraps off its highly anticipated mixed reality headset on Monday in a video presentation at its World Wide Developers Conference on the Apple campus in Cupertino, California.
The $3,499 Apple Vision Pro headset won’t be available until next year, but promises to usher in a new era of “spatial computing.”
“This is a hugely important product in the history of computing,” declared Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology advisory firm in San Jose, California.
“Apple gave us a Mac with a graphical interface,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Then it gave us the iPhone with pocket computing. It gave us the iPad with tablet computing.”
“Each one broke new ground,” he continued. “Now it’s giving the world another new interface with gestures, eye tracking and speech recognition.”
“The technology surpasses anything we’ve seen,” he said. “There isn’t a headset in the virtual reality world that comes close to this. It’s a full computer in a headset.”
The Vision Pro, which looks like a pair of ski goggles, is packed with technology, including sensors that enable a user to control a virtual display with their eyes, hands and voice, and a 3D camera.
The Apple Vision Pro is designed for high-performance tasks and is capable of working for up to two hours on a single charge. (Image credit: Apple)
Eric Abbruzzese, director of research at ABI Research, a technology advisory firm headquartered in Oyster Bay, NY, said, “It looks like it will comfortably take the place as the best hardware in its category, certainly, to match With a price point.”
“Eye tracking, dedicated silicon, high pixel density screens, and substantial sensor arrays all make for great value for a VR headset,” he told TechNewsWorld. “I don’t believe there is a headset as feature complete as the Vision Pro, but the price highlights why it is.”
“It’s also interesting that the device has the Pro moniker as a first gen product – there’s usually at least one iteration of a ‘normal’ device before the Pro branding hits, but it looks like that ‘normal’ product This has been deliberately allowed to slot in with the Pro both in price and performance,” he said.
The long-awaited product lived up to expectations, said Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif.
“It’s a spatial computer that you wear on your head,” he told TechNewsWorld.
Vena said Apple demonstrated several compelling use cases for the device, ranging from viewing entertainment and games to enhancing productivity to extending the desktop through virtual displays.
The VisionOS spatial operating system lets Vision Pro users experience digital content that blends into the user’s physical world. (Image credit: Apple)
the excitement of disney
Disney CEO Robert A. Iger, who appeared at the Apple presentation, was enthusiastic about the Vision Pro.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to entertain, inform and inspire our fans, combining great technology with exceptional creativity to create truly remarkable experiences,” he added. “And we believe Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary platform that can make our vision a reality.”
“The first time I tried Apple Vision Pro, what impressed me most was how it allowed us to bring our fans closer to their favorite characters and create deeply personal experiences to immerse them more deeply in our stories. Will allow to make,” he continued. “This platform will allow us to bring Disney to our fans in ways that were previously impossible.”
The device will also enhance the visibility of augmented reality technology.
“There is less familiarity with the term augmented reality in the consumer space,” Kristen Hanich, an analyst with Dallas market research and consulting company Parkes Associates, wrote in the Connected Consumer newsletter.
“However, the majority of consumer use is of popular applications such as Pokémon Go, Snapchat and Instagram – smartphone apps that are being used not because they are augmented reality, but because the core experiences resonate with consumers,” he continued.
“Apple’s expected announcement today in this category will help drive awareness and adoption given the power of the brand, content ecosystem, developer relationships and Apple’s focus on premium experiences,” he added.
Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said virtual reality gets a lot of press because it promises to transport you to another time, another place.
“With the Vision Pro, because it does pass-through – which few other devices do – as well – it keeps you rooted in the physical world while adding digital elements,” he told TechNewsworld.
“You can use a headset and still be in the moment,” explained Ben Arnold, an analyst at global market research firm Circana (formerly NPD).
“To me, it’s different than what we’re seeing in the market now,” he told TechNewsWorld.
Apple’s announcement reflects where mixed reality is today, said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a New York City-based consumer technology advisory firm.
“One commonality that we’re seeing among mixed reality makers is the huge leverage of content and applications today because there isn’t a lot of mixed reality, augmented reality content out there,” he told TechNewsWorld.
“So if you’re Apple, and you have this incredible library of applications,” he continued, “it makes a lot of sense to have it on a device and build some additional value around it, whether it’s immersion or having multiple apps running in front of you.” on the tiles.
new 15 inch air
In addition to introducing Visual Pro, Apple made several other hardware and software announcements.
The expected 15-inch Mac Air based on the M2 silicon will be available next week for $1,299. The 13-inch M2 Air will sell for $1,099 for its base configuration, and the 13-inch M1 Air will remain part of the lineup for $999.
Showcasing its vibrant Starlight, Space Grey, Silver and Midnight hues, the 15-inch MacBook Air, along with its MagSafe charging and two Thunderbolt accessory ports, also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. (Image credit: Apple)
Milestone All Apple Silicon Shift
Apple also announced that it would make its Mac Studio computers with its M2 Ultra and M2 Max silicon. Those models will also be available next week, starting at $1,999.
The Mac Pro also got an upgrade to the M2 Ultra silicon. It will sell for $6,999 and will be available next week.
Apple also refreshed its iOS, iPadOS and watchOS software lines.
“Most of the other announcements seem to be nice to have for the rich rather than important products,” Abbruzzese observed.
“The fact that all Apple products are now on Apple silicon is a milestone that everyone knew was coming, but took a fair amount of time to happen,” he said.
“To have a dedicated XR chipset alongside the Visual Pro M2 is not surprising but interesting nonetheless,” he continued. “Qualcomm has dominated the XR chipset market, and now they have a strong competitor for 2024 and beyond.”