Apple getting into VR has been one of the worst kept secrets for years out of the company, but today it finally delivered on those teases with the announcement of Apple Vision Pro. This new HMD is a VR/AR HMD that will allow users to engage with virtual reality and augmented reality apps. The headset will also allow users to access media such as YouTube, TV, and movies, and the full suite of Apple apps through a new VR interface.
The Apple Vision Pro was revealed during today’s WWDC 2023 keynote presentation. Some of the more interesting features of the Apple Vision Pro are a pass through feature in which the headset broadcasts your eye area on a front visor of the device, letting you look at and interact better with others in the room. It also features a controller-free experience, focusing primarily on hand controls to interact with features and apps inside the headset. That said, Bluetooth keyboards and mice will also be accessible on the device. Even so, it seems the headset will be tethered to a power source as all demonstrations of the headset featured a cord hanging off headband of the HMD.
Some of the features of the Vision Pro include intake ports on the bottom of the headset that keep the device cooled while remaining quiet. It also offers all-day use when plugged in to a power supply, and up to 2 hours of life when connected to an external battery built for the headset. For those who wear glasses, there will be custom ocular inserts made to meet various prescriptions. Unfortunately, it seems wearing glasses with the headset is not suggested. The headset is also said to feature spatial audio via a technology called “audio ray-tracing,” which will adjust the sound of the headset based on real-time data from the room around you. Underneath the hood, the Apple M2 chip and a new, specialized R1 chip will be running the headset.
The Apple Vision Pro will retail at $3499 and is expected to ship in early 2024, so stay tuned to our WWDC 2023 coverage for further updates on Apple’s new AR/VR headset and further announcements from the keynote.