Apple has unveiled the $3,499 Vision Pro, a “mixed reality” headset that has led to renewed interest in the metaverse and augmented reality, making the previously hyped virtual worlds feel outdated. The technology giant’s late entry into this arena has triggered discussions about how this device could change the world.
The Vision Pro Unveiled
The new Apple Vision Pro headset made a grand appearance in California this week. Apple has spent seven years perfecting the Vision Pro. Despite its first version still lacking some of the design sleekness for which Apple is known – the headset is tethered to a separate battery – the tech giant has successfully made the mass appeal of such devices plausible.
Francisco Jeronimo, an analyst for IDC Europe, shared his experience with the Vision Pro, saying, “You know there’s a screen in front of you, but it feels very real. I’ve never had that feeling before.” Leo Gebbie, of CCS Insight, has tried dozens of headsets over the years and described the Vision Pro experience as the best he has ever had.
Features of Vision Pro
The Vision Pro incorporates many exceptional features, including:
- High-definition clarity of images
- High-speed rendering of images to reduce motion sickness
- Eye and hand movements as control mechanisms
- Ability to create displays of any size in real-time
- A virtual keyboard that responds to hand and eye movements
- Compatibility with existing Apple apps and third-party developers
It may be seven times more expensive than Meta’s forthcoming Quest 3 headset, but the Vision Pro offers a better value proposition by successfully tackling many of the problems associated with virtual reality.
Shifting Perception of the Metaverse
Apple’s new device makes it more appealing to remain in the beautifully lit, high-definition world we already inhabit and have digital elements overlaid on it with technology. This concept, known as augmented reality, is what Apple is aiming for with the Vision Pro. The users, after putting on the Vision Pro, see the rooms they are in rather than a virtual world.
Will Vision Pro be the Game Changer?
As Rizwan Virk, founder of Play Labs @ MIT, Apple’s new device has the potential to break the cycle of overhyped expectations only to flame out. It could herald a new era of wearable ubiquitous computing, ridding us of the need for dedicated computing devices and accessories like keyboards and monitors.
Apple has historically excelled not by being first with a technology, but by providing the best iteration of it – as it did with MP3 players (the iPod) and smartphones (the iPhone). This trend seems to continue with the Vision Pro. It has doubled the capabilities of most extended reality headsets, allowing users to transition easily from VR to AR mode while improving the user experience, resolution, and capabilities of both.
Ubiquitous Computing and the Future of Virtual Reality
The potential of the Vision Pro isn’t limited to redefining the metaverse. As wearable computing becomes more prevalent, it could eventually replace desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. This could lead to a shift in how we interact with technology, leading to a more