Just like any other tech company, Apple is striving to keep up with innovations and develop consumer products that would help make use of technology, which was once alive only between the pages of sci-fi books. Their Apple Vision Pro mixed reality spatial computer is an upcoming cutting-edge piece of tech that is expected to outshine all regular VR headsets. After Apple announced the launch of the Vision Pro back in June, they’ve slowly started to release details about it. Here we’ve gathered all released information regarding this new product and also some speculative details about its features.
- Apple’s approach to mixed reality tech is concerned more with productivity rather than entertainment only.
- Apple Vision Pro is a spatial computer that is capable of placing virtual content in a real environment.
- It is controlled by tracking eye movements, recognizing hand gestures, and responding to voice commands.
- This new form of VR headset is expected to hit the market in early 2024 at the price of $3.499.
What’s the difference between Apple Vision Pro and other VR headsets?
Unlike traditional VR headsets, the Apple Vision Pro is branded as a spatial computer, creating a new product category.
It doesn’t require any extra hardware, as it can track eye movements, recognize hand gestures, and respond to voice commands. This makes it a more advanced and convenient option compared to other headsets, which work with the help of controllers.
Additionally, it can accommodate the real and virtual world, allowing users to experience the best of both worlds.
According to sources like Apple’s official website, this headset will have the following hardware specs:
The Apple Vision Pro is powered by the Apple M2 and R1 chips. Both chips are designed to provide responsive performance.
The M2 chip is the main processor and will be responsible for the content, visionOS, computer vision algorithms, and graphics. It handles the processing and rendering of visual information, ensuring smooth and crisp graphics for the user interface.
On the other hand, the R1 chip is dedicated to gathering data from sensors, cameras, and microphones. It efficiently collects and processes input from the device’s surroundings, enabling features like augmented reality and spatial audio.
The Vision Pro will be equipped with 16GB of RAM, which is significantly more compared to popular standalone VR headsets like Valve Index and Meta Quest 3, which both have 8GB of RAM. This RAM is essential for multitasking and running applications as quickly as possible. It also helps in reducing the potential of computer lag or stutters.
When it comes to storage space, Apple’s headset won’t disappoint, with the 1TB of integrated storage as a default option and up to 4TB available as an upgrade. This means that users have plenty of space to store photos, videos, applications, documents, and more.
The Apple Vision Pro will have an external battery, which will be waist-mounted and rechargeable, with up to 2-hour battery life when unplugged and a full day when plugged in.
The user will be able to experience the incredible resolution of the Apple Vision Pro’s dual micro-OLED displays, boasting a total of 23 million pixels and up to 96Hz refresh rate.
It’s even equipped with an external ‘EyeSight’ display, which shows the wearer’s eyes to those in the room. This feature helps viewers determine if the headset user is using a less immersive AR mode or an immersive VR mode.
The eyes displayed on the external display come from an interior camera that monitors the user’s eyes, and it alerts people when a video is being recorded.
For those who wear glasses, Zeiss Optical inserts could be ordered with one’s prescription, though the pricing is yet to be revealed. The lenses will attach magnetically to the headset.
The Vision Pro boasts 12 cameras and five sensors that monitor hand gestures and map the external environment. Two of the cameras transmit more than a billion pixels per second, while the others are used for head tracking and 3D mapping.
It will also feature four infrared cameras and LED lights, which would power the eye-tracking feature, allowing the headset to recognize where the wearer is looking for navigation.
Infrared flood illuminators are set to enable accurate hand tracking in dimly lit conditions, and the LiDAR depth sensors detect the size and positioning of objects in the room.
The headset is expected to be incredibly durable, thanks to its aluminum alloy frame and laminated glass. The frame will magnetically connect to a Light Seal that sits on the face, as Apple will be providing various sizes and shapes to fit different face shapes.
It will also have two audio straps with speakers that support spatial audio and a 3D braided fabric strap for securing it to the back of the head. The main band will be detachable for swapping in different sizes. The Digital Crown on the top will enable you to change the level of ‘immersion’, and a top button will serve as a camera button for capturing 3D ‘spatial’ videos and photos.
The headset will have a space to attach a braided cable that plugs into a round charging puck. This puck can be connected to an external battery pack or a power adapter.
You’ll have two audio drivers packed into the headset’s straps, plus six microphones and support for AirPods Pro. The dual-driver audio pods are close to each ear, allowing for spatial, immersive sound.
With AirPods Pro, you’ll be able to enjoy 20-bit, 48 kHz lossless audio with ultra-low latency. The Vision Pro also has an adaptive audio feature that will adjust the sound to match the acoustic properties of your room.
Plus, you can take hands-free calls and give voice commands using the six microphones.
The headset will run on the company’s own visionOS, allowing users to control the Vision Pro with eye and hand movements.
Apps such as Safari, FaceTime, and Messages have been redesigned to work in this environment. Not only that, but the headset will also be able to run all current iPhone and iPad apps.
The system is set to provide an ‘infinite canvas’ with app windows that can move around the user’s space, extending their reach and providing a smooth, immersive experience.
How does it work?
With Apple Vision Pro, you’ll be able to use your eye and hand movements to interact with the 3D environment. The headset features exterior and interior cameras that map the space around you and project it back to you. This way, you can see a 3D picture of your environment, even without see-through lenses.
It’s designed to cover your eyes and block out your surroundings, allowing you to immerse yourself in the experience.
The cameras could also be turned off for a virtual setting.
Although the Apple Vision Pro could be used as a standalone device, it could also be integrated with a Mac or iPhone for additional features. When connected to a Mac, it can act as a display. It’s believed the iPhone can be used for text input and other tasks.
It is speculated that Microsoft’s complete Office Suite, along with multiple video-calling apps, will also be supported.
While details on the exact integration with the iPhone are yet to be revealed, there’s no doubt that it will be a useful feature.
Use cases for Apple Vision Pro
The following examples show different use cases which the Apple Vision Pro could have if the praise surrounding its capabilities is justified upon the product’s release:
Remote work and collaboration
With Apple Vision Pro, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate remotely as if all participants taking part in a meeting were in the same room. This innovative technology will utilize front-facing cameras to create a 3D digital representation of your face, with internal sensors that mimic your facial expressions. This allows users to work on tasks together, even if they’re miles apart.
Projects could be reviewed, creative ideas could be discussed, and training courses could be conducted without the need for physical contact.
This headset could also be used for professional training as it would be able to create simulated scenarios which would give personnel experience and understanding of hazardous or challenging situations without real-world risks. This tool would enable users to gain insights in a safe environment, allowing them to practice and become more prepared for real-world scenarios.
Through the use of Apple Vision Pro, you could easily take advantage of distance learning opportunities from the comfort of your own home. It will provide a comprehensive set of tools for teleconferencing, e-learning, expert consultations, and cost-effective learning initiatives.
With personalized feedback, Vision Pro would enable learners to make adjustments and perfect their techniques. You could also take advantage of a hands-on training experience without being in a traditional classroom.
Apple Vision Pro could also be used by doctors for the conduction of remote health check-ups and administering treatments. Its high-resolution image and video quality will make it ideal for detecting a variety of conditions, from skin and ophthalmology problems to retinal scans.
This is beneficial for both the patient and the doctor, as it saves time and can provide more accurate results.
One of the greatest perks of the Vision Pro would be that the users could access multiple virtual screens through augmented reality, thus offering an unprecedented level of convenience.
This is especially useful for those who work in the creative industry, such as graphic designers, video editors, and animators. By using the Vision Pro, they can easily switch between different displays and work on multiple projects at the same time.
Moreover, it increases efficiency by allowing users to multitask and work on multiple tasks simultaneously.
Apple Vision Pro Developer Kit
The Apple Vision Pro Developer Kit provides users with the tools they need to develop apps and games for the new Vision Pro App Store. If you’re interested, Apple can loan you the Kit so you can prepare your product for the visionOS. However, you’ll need to provide an impressive resume and be approved by Apple’s team before obtaining it.
Upon completion of your project, you must return the Kit to Apple. With the Kit, you’ll have access to features like advanced development tools and comprehensive testing capabilities. All of this will help you ensure your app or game is ready for the App Store.
Apple has announced tha Vision Pro is expected to hit the market sometime in March 2024.
The Apple Vision Pro will cost $3,499, which is far from affordable. However, it is yet to be determined whether quality will justify the price.
Is a more affordable Apple Vision Pro in the works?
Rumors suggest that the company may be creating a completely new model, which would be a more budget-friendly version of the Vision Pro.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that such a headset may be released as early as 2025, while analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the project may have been canceled.
As of the latest insider info, even if Apple is working on a second-generation Vision Pro, it would not be available for purchase at least until 2027.
Apple Vision Pro looks to be an exciting mixed reality headset that could revolutionize the way we experience and interact with the world. Its hardware and software capabilities are a definite upgrade compared to regular headsets. As it is expected to be a stand-out on the market, it would be amazing if all its hype is actually justified. But for now, we’re still waiting to get a hold of new leaked details about the product and eventually finally see it available for purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does the Apple Vision Pro Compare to Other VR Headsets in Terms of Graphics and Performance?
Compared to other VR headsets, the Apple Vision Pro offers superior mixed reality features and is controlled by eye and hand movements.
What Type of Hardware Is Needed to Run Apple Vision Pro?
The Apple Vision Pro is supposed to be used mainly as a standalone headset, however, it could be connected to your Mac.
What Is the Expected Battery Life of the Apple Vision Pro?
When fully charged, it could last up to 2 hours. But the headset could work even while the battery is plugged in the charger.