Apple’s New Vision Pro Headset – Unprecedented Tech, Unprecedented Price

Sam Taylor
5 Min Read

A vision of the future

Ladies and gentlemen, make way for the purported future! So far, AR and VR technologies have been changing how some of us see things. It’s fair to say plodding progress in both fields has dampened the public’s response to both – after all, we’re always going to compare new consumer electronics with the ones we’ve already got in our pockets. The ‘experience’ of it all is what Apple seems to be banking on with the Vision Pro, its heavily-rumoured head-mounted display device, announced on Monday in Cupertino, California. Make no mistake, Apple’s new Vision Pro is a pricey powerhouse.

One of the worst-kept secrets in Silicon Valley, as reported by The Guardian, allows users to interact with a host of “apps and experiences” across both augmented reality and virtual reality vision scapes. The inherent ‘cringe factor’ of wearing such tech in public (have you ever seen someone don virtual goggles on a plane?) and the fact that it’s largely been tethered to a desk have been key factors in our resistance to head-mounted displays. Apple’s ambitions are the closest we’ve come to a Ready Player One reality – both in terms of style and sheer technological abundance – but are we happy to live in a reality where ‘the era of spatial computing’ consists of bells, whistles and a $3,500 (that’s £2,808) price tag? Let’s dig in.

Apple’s next-gen tech specs

“There’s a disconnect between the eye-watering price of Apple’s new ‘spatial computing’ gadget and the promise of it – but it has some genuinely novel features.”
– Alex Hern, The Guardian

The Vision Pro is undoubtedly an impressive bit of kit: it’s full of features that will allow users to navigate its interface, visionOS, using just their eyes, hands and voice. Positive reports are rolling in from tech-hungry journalists and it’s clear that the Vision Pro is the real deal – commendably powerful, yet cost prohibitive.

It was ever thus with first-generation Apple technology; early adopters and acolytes will flock to it, whilst the rest of us wait patiently for a payment plan. Yet there is something beguiling about this bold marriage of AR and VR. Apple products have always been gorgeous and prohibitively expensive – same as it ever was – but the VisionPro is packed with quality-of-life improvements that clearly leapfrog what’s come before. its EyeSight feature bypasses the goggles to present the real world in enough clarity, allegedly, users can use their iPhone through it. Its postage stamp-sized screens each hold more pixels than the screen you’re reading this article on. An array of infrared cameras read your gestures in real-time.

Apple’s new Vision Pro – Too Much, Too Late?

Its applications, however, are a little less clear. The much-touted “Metaverse” is failing to gain traction because we’re not entirely sure what it is yet – a clear and defined mission statement is vital. Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg seems to have forgotten this in his ivory tower. Apple Tim Cook and his colleagues, however, are sticking to their guns; they’ve revolutionised entire industries before. Who can forget Steve Jobs’ impeccable introduction in 2007 of a device that’s, “a Widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough Internet communications device?” The definition of a three-pronged attack.

The iPhone put a lot of pressure on Apple to revolutionise repeatedly, yet the Vision Pro is an incremental improvement on pre-existing impressive tech. The company has trained us to march to the beat of their music devices, touch our smartphone screens, wear our tech and make incredible things on Mac. For now though, their vision for the future is just a promise – one packed with hefty technology, and for most, an untenable price tag. Adoption will lead to applications but given the prohibitive price point, even Apple evangelists might struggle to justify jumping aboard.

It’s impressive tech, but will you be buying Apple’s new Vision Pro on day one?

Source: Is Apple’s $3,500 Vision Pro more than just another tech toy for the rich?

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Want even more VR news? Click here: Meta Unveils Quest 3 VR Headset, Just Before Apple’s Entry into the Market.

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A Brighton UK-based content creator, Sam has worked with some world-conquering brands, including Cartoon Network, Marvel and Screen Rant.When he's not writing about the latest next-gen tech insights, he's probably off walking the dog, reading comics, eating sushi and listening to podcasts, or doing his weekly improv course.
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