Apple has finally unveiled its mixed-reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, as the tech company makes its pitch for the next generation of computing.
The Vision Pro, which is slated to arrive in the United States early next year, will cost $3,499 (€3,271), putting it at the top end of the market. Apple is pitching the device as a “spatial computer” that blends digital content with the real world, and depends on user’s eyes, hands and voice to control the interface.
It comes with its own operating system, VisionOS, and has an ultra-high-resolution display system with 23 million pixels.
Users will be able to make FaceTime calls; access photos and videos; watch TV shows and movies on a personal cinema display; and play games from Apple’s Arcade. Among the early adopters for Vision Pro is Disney, which will make its Disney+ app available on the headset.
The device is also being pitched as a work device, with support for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, and the ability to set apps up side-by-side at any scale.
“Creating our first spatial computer required invention across nearly every facet of the system,” said Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice-president of the technology development group. “Through a tight integration of hardware and software, we designed a stand-alone spatial computer in a compact, wearable form factor that is the most advanced personal electronics device ever.”
Vision Pro will have its own App Store that will contain new apps designed for the more immersive environment, alongside compatible iPhone and iPad apps.
Apple has been working on the device for some time. Chief executive Tim Cook said the Vision Pro marked the “beginning of a new era for computing”.
“Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing,” Mr Cook said.
“Built upon decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before – with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations. It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers.”
The announcement at WWDC (Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference) came a day after Meta unveiled the Quest 3 headset and said it would drop the price of the Quest 2 to make virtual reality more accessible.
Apple also announced a new MacBook Air, an updated Mac Studio and a Mac Pro powered by the company’s own M2 chip. The US tech giant also added to its chip line up, unveiling the M2 Ultra.
A new version of Mac software, dubbed Sonoma, will be available to Mac users in the autumn, with the beta software available to developers immediately. New versions of the iPadOS and IOS were also unveiled at the event.
Apple showed off new features for the iPhone and iPad software, including the ability to turn phones into smart displays when in standby mode. The Health app will also come to the iPad, and Apple TV is getting FaceTime.
Apple’s AirPods, meanwhile, will see a new adaptive audio mode added that will tune noise cancelling technology to the user’s surroundings.