After years of rumors and speculations, Apple has made the Vision Pro official. It is Apple’s first AR/VR headset, but the company is not associating it with AR/VR. They call it a “Spatial Computer” This is typical of Apple. It runs on a new Operating system that will be called VisionOS.
The headsets come with a display system that has 23 million pixels with two micro OLED screens. It’s like having a 4K TV for each of your eyes and the size of a postage stamp. There are custom catadioptric lenses that help with sharpness and clarity to improve the experience. The colors are wide with a very high dynamic range. If you need vision correction, there will be Zeiss Optical inserts to ensure visual fidelity and eye-tracking accuracy.
The Vision Pro is powered by a custom dual-core version of Apple’s M2 chipset, with a new R1 chip that processes input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six mics to ensure that content is always in front of your eyes. The R1 streams contents to the display within 12ms which is 8 times faster than the blink of an eye.
It has a two-hour battery life coming from an external custom battery pack, and it can be used all day when plugged in. Apple announced OpticID, a method of unlocking the Vision Pro with your Retina. It analyses your Iris to authenticate and unlock the device.
Your eyes, hands, and voice control the Vision UI. There won’t be any physical controllers, and you can browse through the apps by looking at them, tapping your fingers to select and flick your wrist to scroll, or using your voice to dictate.
While using the headset, if someone approaches you, they can see an image of your eyes. And you can see them, too; the device feels transparent. Apple is calling the feature eyesight, and when you are immersed in an environment or using an app, it gives clues to people around you that you are busy.
There is a new app store for VisionOS where you can access thousands of iPhone and iPad apps that will work with the new input system for Vision Pro. You can take Facetime calls with the headset and see people in a life-like size with spatial audio. This means you will hear them speak from where they are positioned during the call.
Users wearing the headset during a call are tagged “Persona” which is a digital version of themselves created with Apple’s most advanced machine learning techniques. It reflects hands and facial movements in real time. You can watch movies together, collaborate and browse photos simultaneously.
The 3D interface lets apps appear side by side at any scale and supports a magic keyboard and trackpad. You can set up a workspace with the headset, which has the power of a Mac. It creates a portable 4K display with clear text and visibility.
The headset has a digital crown; twisting it lets you control how immersed or present you are. You also get a 3D camera that you can use to capture yourself in your favorite memories with Spatial Audio. The complete library of what you capture will be available on iCloud. Panorama shots on iPhones will also wrap around you in the headset, creating a sense that makes you think you were there when it was taken.
The Apple headset has an aluminum alloy frame that curves around your face. There is a modular system that keeps it fit on your face. The seal is made from soft textiles in various shapes and sizes; it flexes to conform to your face for a precise fit, while the flexible straps ensure audio remains close to your ears.
It has a secured headband with a simple mechanism allowing easy swaps to different sizes and styles. The default one is 3D knitted as a single piece to provide cushioning, breathability, and stretch.
It will be available in the US early next year for $3,499 and expand to other countries before the end of 2024.