Apple Vision Pro: Everything You Need To Know

Apple delves into the AR market next month, and here is everything you need to know about its first launch, the Apple Vision Pro.

At A Glance
  • The Apple Vision Pro seeks to change how audiences interact with content.
  • It features various modes, including VR, AR, MR, and XR. 
  • The headset features two micro-OLED screens with a 90Hz refresh rate.
  • Apple has also featured the M2 and R1 chips to power the Vision Pro.
  • The headset can be bought for $3,499.

The Apple Vision Pro is dubbed the company’s most important launch in 2024, following more than a decade of research and development in augmented and virtual reality. Nine years after the Apple Watch, this product adds a new category to the company’s portfolio.

Using information converted through cameras into a digital image, the Vision Pro aims for complete immersion, absorbing users in its virtual environment. These cameras are also switched off in VR mode to add to this immersion.

This mode completely replaces your field of view with content from the headset. Meanwhile, AR mode presents a mix of information from the headset and the real world, using the environment as an overlay for digital content.

Apple also offers MR mode, which combines both VR and AR. Finally, XR, or Extended Reality, combines all three for another unique experience.

Apple Vision Pro
First Look At Vision Pro

Design and Internals

Apple’s first headset goes for a very distinct design, looking similar to ski goggles. In addition to an aluminum frame, the headset employs a single piece of laminated glass for the front.

It also includes two micro-OLED screens on the inside, offering a 90Hz refresh rate and over 4K resolution to each eye. Apple’s popular M2 processor from devices like the Macbook and iPad is the heart of the Vision Pro’s procession power.

While the new R1 chip handles inputs from the cameras, sensors, and microphones, the M2 chip deals with visionOS, algorithms, and the visuals shown on-screen. These internals are powered by an external battery or an adaptor since no batteries are included in the headset.

Still, the battery pack can provide up to 2.5 hours of battery.

Apple Vision Pro
Vision Pro Headset via Apple

Spatial Audio & Comfort

With two Audio Straps and built-in speakers, Apple Vision Pro offers Spatial Audio. It can combine the headset and real-world audio, creating a completely new experience.

Connected to these straps is a 3D knitted headband. It holds the headset in place and adds to the comfort of the device, thanks to a breathable and elastic material. Furthermore, a Fit Dial ensures the headset fits well on the head.

The focus on comfort extends to other parts of the Apple Vision Pro’s build as well. With weight equally distributed across the top and bottom, a dual-strap construction ensures users can wear the headset for long sessions.

No Controllers Allowed

Apple has decided against controllers for the Vision Pro, instead relying on hand gestures and commands for basic tasks. Highlighting an application is as easy as glancing at it, while taps can be used to select any highlighted applications.

Furthermore, scrolling is intuitive and can be carried out with a flick of the fingers.

Apple Vision Pro
Apple CEO Tim Cook With The Vision Pro

FaceTime Is Better With Vision Pro & Its Cameras

When using this headset, several camera and sensor maps work on mapping out surroundings and monitoring your hand gestures. Optic ID is used for verification, relying on infrared lights and cameras to scan the iris.

This feature effectively serves as the Vision Pro’s version of Face ID. It can be used in place of passwords, for device unlocking, and to make purchases. However, these cameras also serve to enhance FaceTime.

Using the Apple Vision Pro, calls and meetings are more immersive than before. When using FaceTime, the headset portrays call attendants through huge tiles, while the user shows up as a digital reconstruction for everyone else.

FaceTime can also be used to share apps and work through the Vision Pro. Spacial Audio further adds to this experience, leading to clear audio and communication during calls.

Apple Vision Pro
Vision Pro Image via Apple

Release Date & Price

Apple has officially confirmed the Vision Pro will arrive on 2nd February. Following the initial announcement, pre-orders for the headset began on 19th January in the US, giving curious buyers plenty of time to pre-purchase before the launch.

The headset is priced at $3,499 with 256GB storage, and it can be ordered online and in-store. Additional accessories like the Zeiss Optical Inserts cost $99, while the Zeiss Prescription Optical Inserts cost $149.

However, the current launch is limited to the United States. According to Bloomberg, other parts of the world, like Canada and the UK, should see a launch soon after the United States.

However, other European countries and Asia might not receive the Apple Vision Pro until 2025.

Repairs Are Expensive Without AppleCare

Repairs, depending on the scenario, can cost up to 70% of the headset’s initial price. A cracked cover glass will require up to $799 for repairs, but damaging the unit itself will set buyers back $2,399.

This should be enough to encourage buyers of the Apple Vision Pro to consider AppleCare Plus. Cutting the cost to just $300 from $2,399, insurance is practically mandatory for anybody considering this headset.

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