Apple hasn’t yet launched its first spatial computer unveiled at WWDC 2023, but it may get the chance to do so later this year. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman (a frequent tipster for Apple-related leaks) reports that the company’s Vision Pro could debut in March instead of January as it works on distribution plans and final testing.
That’s not necessarily bad, though, as the headset might have trouble finding mass appeal, given its $3,499 starting price. The headset is designed to provide a “new dimension” to powerful personal computing and allow users to access apps, capture and relive memories, watch movies and TV shows, and interact with friends on FaceTime. It also aims to help them stay healthier by providing an easy way to track and manage their health and see how they look without removing the headset.
The Vision Pro is an impressive-looking piece of hardware that combines augmented reality with virtual reality to offer a unique experience for the user. It has two displays, one on each side of the headset, and is built around a single piece of 3D-formed laminated glass that hugs the user’s head. It has a variety of cameras and sensors to capture what’s around the wearer and can use its new R1 chip to display and process images eight times faster than the blink of an eye. The headset’s lenses have anti-reflective coatings, and a unique lens on the front of the device is designed to block out light from the back of the user’s head, helping avoid visual fatigue after extended use.
While the headset is impressive, it’s not clear that it will be able to compete with existing devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus VR. Analysts do not expect the Vision Pro to have significant mainstream appeal – at least not initially – due to its high price tag.
Nevertheless, if the company can ramp up production and find ways to cut costs, it could make its Vision Pro more accessible and find success in the nascent mixed reality market (MR). To succeed in this space, it will need to create a comfortable headset for more extended periods and provide users with a more immersive and realistic experience than what’s currently available.
While the Vision Pro might have a difficult road ahead, the company’s history with the iPhone has shown that it can make products with mass appeal when it decides to work hard. We will keep you posted on any further developments with the Vision Pro.