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June 7, 2023

The unveiling of Apple's new augmented reality headset

This is almost a decade's first major hardware launch

Apple, the renowned tech giant, has made an exciting announcement that is set to redefine our experience of reality. Introducing Apple Vision Pro, an augmented reality headset that seamlessly merges the real and digital worlds. During the unveiling, CEO Tim Cook described it as the first Apple product that you look through, rather than at, resembling a sleek pair of ski goggles.

By rotating a dial, users can switch from augmented reality to full virtual reality on the Apple Vision Pro. It has a controller-free design. Navigating through its interface, called visionOS, is as intuitive as looking at rows of app icons. By gazing at the desired app, users can effortlessly tap to select or flick to scroll. As well as supporting voice commands, the headset allows users to interact with "hundreds of thousands of familiar iPhone and iPad applications" seamlessly and naturally. A Mac can also be connected to the headset for enhanced functionality, and Bluetooth accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad are also compatible.

The sleek design of the Vision Pro features a glass front and an aluminum frame, housing an array of advanced components. With five sensors, 12 cameras, and a dedicated 4K display for each eye, the visual quality promises to be unparalleled. The device boasts a fan-cooled computer, ensuring optimal performance. Apple has also paid attention to comfort, with a cloth-lined headset mask, known as the "Light Seal," and a modular strap, aptly named the "Head Band," which can be adjusted to fit various face shapes and head sizes.

For those who wear glasses, Apple has partnered with Zeiss to create custom optical inserts that magnetically attach to the lenses. In terms of battery life, the Vision Pro offers up to two hours of usage, and with a supple woven cable, it can be easily stored in a pocket or connected to external power for extended use. In addition to the amazing display quality, the 4K videos render seamlessly and deliver unprecedented sharpness.

In full virtual reality mode, your eyes are hidden behind a glowing screen, indicating that you are not available. Additionally, the device creates a lifelike digital persona by scanning your face, further enhancing the immersive experience.

The Vision Pro's passthrough video feature allows users to perceive the real world in vibrant color, while also projecting three-dimensional objects into their physical surroundings. Imagine plucking objects out of a message thread and bringing them into the real world seamlessly.

When it comes to remote interactions, the Vision Pro incorporates spatial audio technology, enabling users to arrange FaceTime participants as dynamic "video tiles" around the room. Furthermore, the headset enables users to capture and relive their experiences with a built-in 3D camera, capturing immersive 180-degree videos.

Apple aims to captivate users not only with its innovative hardware but also with a compelling content ecosystem. The Vision Pro will offer a range of TV and Arcade content, including premium offerings from Disney. With its entry into the market, Apple joins the likes of Meta, a major competitor that has achieved considerable success with its Quest 2 headset, primarily focused on gaming.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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