The device will be available for purchase early next year starting at $3,499.
After years of speculation, Apple today unveiled Apple Vision Pro, the company’s first spatial computer. Tim Cook made the reveal during the 2023 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, sharing a number of exciting features that could change the way we look at mixed reality technology.
Available early next year, Apple Vision Pro is an XR device capable of blending virtual elements with the real world. According to Apple, the sleek-looking headset is designed for both work and play, offering a sizable catalog of productivity and entertainment apps available via the new Vision Pro App Store. The device is also compatible with a number of existing iPhone and iPad games and apps available on the standard App Store.
Instead of motion controllers, the headset is operated using your eyes, voice, and hands. That said, Apple Vision Pro is compatible with a number of Bluetooth devices, such as your Magic Keyboard and Trackpad. The device allows you to strategize with coworkers from anywhere in the world, kick back and enjoy 3D movies on a massive 100-foot screen, connect a gamepad and play over 100 Apple Arcade games, access your Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices via multiple screens in mixed reality, and much, much more.
Apple Vision Pro features a modern compact design housing two ultra-high-resolution displays, a Spatial Audio system, and an Apple Silicon two-chip design. The device is powered by a small external battery, offering 2-hours of battery life (all-day use when plugged into a power source). There’s a physical button you can use to capture spatial videos and photos (more on that later) as well as an array of sensors that track your hands as well as the real world.
A three-dimensionally formed laminated glass wraps around the front of the device to deliver a “transparent” feel. Anytime someone approaches the headset, it automatically displays a 3D replica of your eyes using the built-in eye-tracking technology. Apple calls this feature “EyeSight.” According to the company, EyeSight allows for more natural interactions with others while wearing the headset. It can also inform those outside the headset about what you’re focused on, whether it be a movie or a meeting.
Apple Reality Pro promises a customizable ergonomic design for comfortable extended use. This includes a breathable Head Band that be easily adjusted using the Fit Dial. There’s also a Light Seal designed to prevent light leakage. On the top of the headset, you’ll find the Digital Crown which can be used to bring up Home View as well as adjust the level of immersion when using an “Environment” (more on that in a second).
Apple’s new visionOS includes a brand new 3D interface designed specifically for Apple Vision Pro, allowing you to browse through your collection of games and apps using your eyes, hands, and voice. 3D elements appear realistically in the real world. They can even react to light and cast their own shadows. You can also use the aforementioned Digital Crown to blend the real world with a variety of gorgeous virtual Environments captured using 3D volumetric technology.
Speaking of 3D, Apple Vision Pro features Apple’s first 3D camera, allowing you to capture 180-degree spatial videos and photos and access them anytime via your photo library on iCloud. You can also surround yourself with wide panorama shots captured on your iPhone. But the 3D technology doesn’t end there.
Apple Vision Pro can actually scan your face and create a digital “Persona” that mimics your face and hand movements using machine learning technology. So whether you’re on a FaceTime call with family or chatting with coworkers over Zoom, you’ll appear as a realistic 3D avatar. Meanwhile, those connecting via mobile or desktop will appear over your real-world environment via 2D tiles. If you’re chatting with another Apple Vision Pro user, however, you’ll see a 3D version of their respective Persona.
Those interested in creating a Persona will need to enroll with Apple in order to access this feature.
Security & Privacy
In terms of security, Apple Vision Pro featured an Optic ID system that scans your iris under LED light exposures and compares it to your enrolled Optic ID data before allowing you access to the device. This data is encrypted, as is your eye-tracking data, which means the various apps you download and websites you visit will never have access to your personal information. Data captured by your cameras and sensors are also kept under wraps. Those around you can even tell when you’re capturing a video or photo for full transparency.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in an official release. “Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing. Built upon decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before — with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations. It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers.”
“Creating our first spatial computer required invention across nearly every facet of the system,” added Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice president of the Technology Development Group. “Through a tight integration of hardware and software, we designed a standalone spatial computer in a compact wearable form factor that is the most advanced personal electronics device ever.”
Price & Release Window
Apple Vision Pro will be available for purchase early next year starting at $3,499 via Apple.com and Apple Stores. Moving forward, Apple will be teaming up with Disney to launch a variety of in-headset experiences tied to specific Disney+ content. During today’s reveal, we caught a quick glimpse of an immersive Star Wars-themed companion experience for The Mandalorian as well as a unique control room-like experience for ESPN.
For more information on all of today’s announcements visit here.
Feature Image Credit: Apple