Apple has officially announced that its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset will be available for purchase in the United States on February 2nd. Starting in mid-January, customers in the US have the option to pre-order the mixed-reality device for $3,499 (£2,749).
However, there is currently no set date for the release of the headset in the UK.
This marks Apple’s first major product launch since the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015. After years of speculation and rumors, the company unveiled the headset in June 2023. However, there have been some challenges along the way.
According to the Financial Times, Apple has significantly reduced its production forecasts, lowering the estimated number of units from one million to 400,000 in 2024.
In addition to the release date, Apple has also provided details about the device’s specifications. The Vision Pro headset will come with 256GB of storage, and it features eye-tracking technology that can be utilized by monitoring a single dominant eye.
This is particularly beneficial for individuals who do not have full use of both eyes.
Interestingly, Apple is aiming to differentiate its headset from other devices on the market.
In a blog post directed towards developers, the company advised them to brand their apps as “spatial computing” instead of using terms like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), or mixed reality (MR).
To build anticipation for the launch, Apple has released an online trailer showcasing characters from movies wearing the headset. This seems to be an effort to recreate the excitement surrounding the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
If successful, the Vision Pro headset could become a lucrative source of revenue for Apple, potentially generating billions of dollars.
However, due to its high price tag, it is likely to remain a luxury item for affluent individuals, while many people around the world struggle to afford basic necessities.
Apple Vision Pro: A Mixed-Reality Adventure with Detachable Battery and Gesture Controls
The Vision Pro was tested by the BBC in June of last year, and the results were a mixed bag. We were fortunate enough to be one of the few news organizations allowed to try out the device, although we were not permitted to take any photos or videos.
Unlike many other headsets, Apple has designed the Vision Pro with a detachable battery, which prevents it from feeling heavy on your head. However, this means that the battery must be positioned beside you and connected by a cable.
The user experience of the Vision Pro is typically minimalist and characteristic of Apple. Once you put on the headset, you can see the room around you, but instead of viewing it through glass, you see it through the numerous on-board cameras.
This creates a “mixed-reality” experience, where digital content is projected onto your surroundings.
To navigate the device, you simply press a single button located on the top right-hand side of the headset. This will bring up familiar app icons, such as iMessage, Photos, and Apple TV (with more to come as developers create them).
From that point on, controlling the device is all about gestures. The headset tracks your gaze, so when you look at an app and pinch your thumb and forefinger together, it will open.
You have the ability to adjust the level of immersion by using a physical dial to increase or decrease the size of the content you are viewing. It can either fill the entire room or appear as a TV screen superimposed on your wall.
However, even when fully immersed, you can still see someone who walks in front of you in real life.
It is important to note that during the demonstration, any issues that arose were attributed to the fact that the product was not yet finished. Additionally, Apple’s restriction on filming prevented us from recording or sharing these issues online.