Apple just made waves in Web3 with the announcement of its new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headset, scheduled to launch early next year to the U.S. market.
The ‘Apple Vision Pro’ blends real and digital worlds “seamlessly,” and according to CEO Tim Cook, is the first Apple product that “you look through, and not at.” It also has a separate battery back and is controlled completely by the user’s hands, eyes, and voice. Its starting price is $3,499.
The first-generation headset, which looks like a pair of ski goggles, is essentially a standalone computer with its own processing system called visionOX. It uses a dial to switch between AR and full VR.
Users can browse rows of apps, which they can select through voice commands or by touching their fingers together. According to Apple, the “hundreds of thousands of familiar iPhone and iPad apps will be available” on the headset. Using Apple’s Magic Trackpad, the device can also connect to your Mac to use inside the headset.
Here’s what else we know about the Apple Vision Pro:
- It’s made of an aluminum frame and glass display
- It contains 12 cameras, five sensors, and a 4K display for each eye
- It is adjustable to fit multiple head sizes and contains custom optical inserts from Zeiss for people who wear glasses
- The battery last two hours, or the headset can be connected to an external power source
- TV and gaming content will be available, including exclusive content from Disney
- The AR technology lets users project 3D objects into real space
- Users can record 180-degree video content with a 3D camera from inside the headset
Another feature of the headset is the ability to signal to people around you whether you’re in AR or VR mode. Through a system called Eyesight, the headset either displays your eyes on the front panel, or changes to a glowing screen when you’re in full VR to signal that you’re unavailable.
Lastly, the Apple Vision Pro uses face-scanning technology to create a hyper-realistic avatar that you can use in immersive worlds or to communicate with friends.
Why does the Apple Vision Pro matter?
The idea of the metaverse has been buzzing for some time now, but it’s failed to take off the way many proponents have hoped. One reason may be because although metaverse software continues to evolve, the hardware necessary to enjoy excursions into virtual worlds has often lagged.
That may be starting to change.
Last week, we covered news about Meta’s new mixed reality headset, the ‘Quest 3,’ which is expected to drop later this year. It is priced significantly lower than Apple’s headset at only $499, and features improved graphics and a slimmer, more comfortable design than previous models.
The public will have to be patient to try out the Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro, and it’s likely these devices will take time to reach their full potential. But if VR and AR headsets improve to where people feel comfortable using them, and the price becomes more affordable, the effect on the metaverse could be huge.
What are people saying?
We surfed YouTube to see what the peanut gallery is saying about the new Apple Vision Pro headset. Here’s what we took away from it.
Overall, people are most impressed by the Apple Vision Pro’s hand and eye-tracking technology, which let you do everything with no controllers. One YouTuber described the effect of selecting something with your eyes as “magical.”
On the negative side, some are concerned the price is too high to inspire mass adoption. They believe the headset is geared more towards developers and professionals who will play a major role in building the apps and software needed to make the device succeed.
Either way, people seem genuinely excited about the Apple Vision Pro headset and what it could mean for the future of augmented and virtual reality. At Rarity Sniper, we’ll keeping be our eye on Apple for any new announcements related to the Apple Vision Pro or other metaverse-related hardware.
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