Apple announced its first XR device, the Apple Vision Pro, during the WWDC23 Apple Keynote. The device is described as a “spatial computer” and makes use of visionOS, an operating system developed on the foundation of macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. It’s slated to release next year and will be priced at $3,499.
Features of the spatial computer
The Apple Vision Pro has a similar build structure to any other AR/VR device on the market. It has the chipset and display on the front and a headband. But, the battery is connected via a cable that you can carry in your pocket. You can also plug it directly into a power plug and use it all day. The battery backup is up to 2 hours. This reduces the headset’s size and weight.
A single piece of three-dimensional laminated glass acts as the lens for the cameras and sensors under the Apple Vision Pro. Speaking of cameras, the device can capture pictures and video in 3D. The light seal has always been a problem for XR systems, but the company claims that the light seal of this device can block any stray light. The headband comes in different sizes and shapes and is easily changeable.
Apple Vision Pro is controlled by eye, voice, and hand gestures. There is no dedicated controller, but connecting a gamepad to play games is possible. Users can scan their own faces and create an avatar. This avatar will then be used when using FaceTime with others, imitating the expressions and hand movements made by the user.
Using two processors
Apple Vision Pro uses a dual-chip design. Meaning, it has two chipsets working simultaneously. The M2 chipset processes the logic, while their new R1 chip is responsible for processing input from the camera and the sensors. The display lenses have more resolution than 4K, using Micro-OLED technology. It also has multiple eye-tracking cameras and sensors that can track both eyes accurately.
Given that the Apple Vision Pro has no controller and solely depends on the user’s eye and hands for input, it is expected to have a dedicated camera and sensors for tracking the eye and hand. The sound system uses Audio Ray Tracing technology to simulate how the sound will bounce in your environment. As for the EyeSight feature, the company claims that the device allows users to see other people while others will be able to view the user’s eyes through the device.
Meta vs. Apple?
The $3,499 USD price has already been the topic of heavy criticism on the internet. Some say it is typical for Apple to overprice things. Others think it is normal for such a feature-packed device. While this debate goes on, Meta is preparing to launch Meta Quest 3. This price debate might smoothen the release of their device scheduled to release on September 27 this year.
Meta already announced that Quest 3 will be priced at $499. Also, Meta reduced the price of Quest 2, which is now available at $299. The announcement of Apple Vision Pro shows the company’s interest in the XR market and might pose a threat to Meta’s domination of the XR market. The device will be available in the US initially, and later in other countries.
YouTube: Introducing Apple Vision Pro
Photo credit: The images used are owned by Apple and have been provided for press usage.