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Apple Vision Pro revealed at WWDC: Apple's new AR headset and what we know so far

By The Count - on 6 Jun 2023, 3:05am

Apple Vision Pro revealed at WWDC: Apple's new AR headset and what we know so far

Apple has officially ventured into the Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) space, with the unveiling of the Vision Pro, an extended reality (XR) headset, at their WWDC 2023 developer conference. This is Apple's first major hardware launch since the debut of the Apple Watch in 2015.

The device features a battery pack connected via a wire, designed to be stowed in a pocket or attached to a belt. Details regarding the specifications remain under wraps but Apple did reveal that the Vision Pro can last for up to two hours with its battery pack.

@hwztech Heres a quick look at the just announced Apple Vision Pro! It’s surprisngly compact and looks super sleek. #hwz #hwzsg #apple #visionpro #applevisionpro #ar #vr #headset #visionos #wwdc23 #wwdc ♬ original sound - HardwareZone

Operating the Vision Pro promises to be intuitive for iOS and iPadOS users, featuring a home screen with movable apps and widgets. Applications appear as though they are suspended in the user's space, casting realistic shadows and reacting to light in the room. The headset allows users to easily switch between AR and VR modes.

Interaction with the Vision Pro is achieved solely through eye movements, hand gestures, and voice commands, eliminating the need for a separate controller. Moreover, Apple has incorporated the EyeSight feature, enabling users' eyes to be visible on an external screen, an effort to maintain a connection with others in the vicinity and indicating whether the user is in AR or VR mode.

In terms of productivity, users can create an 'app canvas,' allowing apps to be placed freely within the screen. The headset replicates a floating Mac interface, with the ability to seamlessly switch between apps by simply turning one's head.

Compatible with Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard, the Vision Pro also offers the option to project a Mac's screen onto the headset, functioning as a sizable 4K display. Apple has also integrated a version of FaceTime into the device, permitting digital interactions during calls.

Showcased as a versatile multimedia tool, the Vision Pro allows users to view photos floating in their space or immerse themselves in iPhone-captured panoramas. Equipped with a camera, users can take photos and videos to later view in 3D. The device subtly blinks to signal to others when images are being captured.

The Vision Pro also doubles as a personal cinema, enabling users to customise screen size within their space while incorporating spatial audio. Users can also simulate a movie theater experience larger than their home. An example of the device's capabilities was demonstrated with a 3D viewing of Avatar: The Way of the Water.

For gaming, Apple says the Vision Pro has been equipped with game controller support, promising access to a vast library of Apple Arcade games upon launch.

Last but not least, Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, joined Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC to showcase the entertainment potential of the Vision Pro.

Disney Plus, including customised versions of shows like The Mandalorian, as well as customised ESPN game views featuring 3D replays, was revealed. Disney also previewed a Marvel: What If? game that immerses you in the role of a superhero. Iger affirmed that Disney Plus will be ready on the launch day of Vision Pro, showcasing the strong partnerships Apple has cultivated for the headset. Clearly, Apple is not venturing into this new frontier alone but is backed by robust partnerships, ready for a game-changing launch.

The Vision Pro is priced at US$3,499 and will be available in 2024.


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