- Today, at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2023, Apple revealed its long-awaited mixed-reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro. Representing the first brand-new product category from the company since 2014’s launch of the Apple Watch, the high-end augmented and virtual reality headset could have a major impact on the future of the metaverse.
- The device’s main uses will include gaming, communication, video consumption, and productivity. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, at least one person who worked on the device at Apple has called it “the future of the computer.”
- Blending augmented and virtual reality, the device is powered by an M2 chip alongside a new R1 chip and is priced at $3,499.
The reveal of Vision Pro, which has been the subject of speculation for years, is a significant milestone in the company’s product line. The headset is designed to give users an immersive experience that incorporates real-world environments into a virtual space.
“It’s the first Apple product you look through and not at,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the presentation. “Apple Vision Pro will introduce us to spatial computing.”
The entire front of the device is 3D-formed laminated glass, which blends into an aluminum frame featuring a button to let users capture photos and videos. The headband is a single piece of 3D-printed material that holds the device’s audio pods close to the ears.
For individuals who wear glasses, Apple has teamed up with Zeiss to create prescription Vision Pro lenses, as the headset sits too close to the face to accommodate eyewear. A separate battery that can be carried in the pocket powers the device.
All of your apps will be accessible with Vision Pro — from FaceTime to Spotify. Users will control the device with their eyes, voice, and hands, tapping their fingers to select an app and flicking them to scroll. Further, Apple states that users will be able to pull 3D objects out of apps to view them from every angle.
The Vision Pro promises a more immersive environment for entertainment; it can “transform any room into your own personal theater” with “Cinema Environment.” Whether it’s a film or a video game, Apple claims that the display will be able to run 4K video.
The Vision Pro is Apple’s first 3D camera. It can be used to capture spatial images and video in 3D with “immersive Spatial Audio.” When you’re capturing a video, the headset makes it clear to others that you’re recording.
One of the more compelling features Apple Vision Pro comes with is EyeSight, a functionality that displays a user’s eyes to the outside world when another person is nearby, allowing for clear communication while wearing the device. When a user is engrossed in a task or watching a movie, the device clearly hides their eyes, signaling to others that they are not available.
Apple’s ripple effect
Rumors and reports of the reveal of the headset have been so intense in recent weeks and months that Apple’s VR and AR competitors preempted the WWDC with the announcement of their own headsets, including Meta’s Meta Quest 3 ($500) and Lenovo’s ThinkReality VRX ($1,299).
Several NFT figures voiced their opinion of the Apple headset after its reveal, expressing excitement at how the device might affect the creative sphere. Even the founder of Oculus, Palmer Lucky, took to Twitter to laud the development, saying, “The Apple headset is so good.”
What metaverses will work out of box* on Apple VR?
-Voxels (fka CryptoVoxels)
*browser VR ready
— Bryan Brinkman (@bryanbrinkman) June 5, 2023
The headset is slated to be available in early 2024. Until then, we can only imagine its potential impact on the future of the metaverse.
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