Apple unveils $3,499 Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset — here’s what it is and how it works
Apple has unveiled its long-rumored, highly-anticipated Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, an all-new $3,499 AR/VR device that blends digital content with the physical world through a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by a user’s eyes, hands, and voice.
The new Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, which will be available only in the US at launch, will be released in 2024, with Apple stating that the device will be coming to more countries and regions later next year.
The device is made from a singular piece of three-dimensionally formed laminated glass with an aluminum alloy frame that curves to wrap a user’s face. The device features an array of advanced cameras and sensors that work together to enable the mixed-reality experience, and speakers are positioned close to a users ears to deliver Spatial Audio to create life-like three-dimensional environments.
With the new Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, users can access their entire photo library on iCloud, and view their photos and videos at a life-size scale. Every Panorama shot on iPhone expands and wraps around the user, creating the sensation they are standing right where it was taken.
With Apple Vision Pro, FaceTime calls take advantage of the room around the user, with everyone on the call reflected in life-size tiles, as well as Spatial Audio, so it sounds as if participants are speaking right from where they are positioned.
Users wearing Vision Pro during a FaceTime call are reflected as a Persona — a digital representation of themselves created using Apple’s most advanced machine learning techniques — which reflects face and hand movements in real time. Users can do things together like watch a movie, browse photos, or collaborate on a presentation.
Apple Vision Pro has an all-new App Store where users can discover apps and content from developers, and access hundreds of thousands of familiar iPhone and iPad apps that automatically work with the new input system for Vision Pro.
The new Apple Vision Pro headset runs a software called visionOS, which is heavily inspired by macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. visionOS features a brand-new three-dimensional interface controlled by a person’s eyes, hands, and voice. Users can browse through apps by simply looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using voice to dictate.
Vision Pro also features EyeSight, an innovation that helps users stay connected with those around them. When a person approaches someone wearing Vision Pro, the device feels transparent — letting the user see them while also displaying the user’s eyes. When a user is immersed in an environment or using an app, EyeSight gives visual cues to others about what the user is focused on.
The headset features Optic ID, a new secure authentication system that analyzes a user’s iris under various invisible LED light exposures, and then compares it to the enrolled Optic ID data that is protected by the Secure Enclave to instantly unlock Apple Vision Pro, similar to how Face ID scans a user’s face to unlock an iPhone.
Apple Vision Pro starts at $3,499, and will be available early next year in the US, with more countries coming later next year.