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After much speculation, Apple has finally presented its highly anticipated augmented reality glasses, now renamed Apple Vision Pro. While the price tag may not be affordable for everyone, there are indications that a more basic and economical model could be launched shortly.
Instead of referring to the Vision Pro as VR headsets, Apple is positioning them as its “first space computer,” emphasizing the user’s ability to stay connected with the physical world while immersing themselves in virtual windows.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, stated that the Vision Pro glasses mark the beginning of a new era in computing. Here’s everything you need to know about the newly announced Apple Vision Pro glasses.
Apple Vision Pro: Release Date
Apple has stated that the Vision Pro glasses will be available “early next year,” indicating a planned launch in spring 2024. Apple will likely host a dedicated event for the glasses, similar to the Apple Watch event 2015.
Apple Vision Pro: Design
Apple has paid special attention to the materials used in constructing the Vision Pro glasses to ensure they are lightweight and comfortable for extended wear. The glasses feature a custom aluminum alloy frame that wraps around the wearer’s face, offering a modular design that can perfectly adjust to individual facial features. The Light Seal, made of soft fabric, comes in various sizes and shapes to provide a precise fit.
Flexible straps allow for head adjustment, ensuring the Audio Pods are positioned close to the ears. The glasses also have a padded headbands in different sizes and interchangeable styles.
Notably, those who wear prescription glasses can purchase personalized optical lenses that magnetically adhere to the Vision Pro lenses, correcting their vision.
Apple Vision Pro: Specs and Features
Apple claims that the Vision Pro glasses deliver exceptional computing performance. Powered by an M2 processor and a new R1 chip, they process signals from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones, eliminating delays and latency. The glasses can update images eight times faster than the blink of an eye and operate virtually silently, as active cooling is not required.
The Vision Pro glasses produce 23 million pixels with two ultra-high-resolution screens, creating a 4K screen for each eye. The result is a display that appears to be over 30 meters wide. The glasses support 4K video playback, and text appears sharp from any angle.
The audio experience is enhanced with two individually amplified drivers in each audio module, delivering custom spatial audio based on the user’s head and ear geometry. The sound feels like it’s coming from the surrounding space, and the glasses employ audio ray tracing to match the sound to the room. An advanced sensor array ensures accurate tracking.
The Vision Pro glasses feature a high-performance eye-tracking system inside the lenses, utilizing cameras and an LED ring to project invisible light patterns into the wearer’s eyes. This allows the glasses to track the user’s gaze and enables high-performance eye tracking for interface control. No external accessories are required, except for optional game controllers.
For user authentication and device unlocking, the Vision Pro recognizes the user’s iris through Optic ID. Data security is ensured with a dedicated Secure Enclave processor, similar to the iPhone and Mac.
An exciting feature called EyeSight projects the user’s perspective to others, ensuring a more natural interaction during spatial photos or videos.
Apple Vision Pro: Battery Life
As stated in the specifications, the Vision Pro glasses provide up to 2 hours of use on a single charge. Although they can be used while plugged into a power source, it’s not the intended method. To reduce the weight of the glasses, Apple has opted for an external battery system connected via cable. This allows users to wear the glasses while storing the battery in a pocket or on a nearby table.
Apple Vision Pro: Software and Apps
With the Vision Pro glasses, users can enjoy various activities such as watching movies, listening to music, browsing photos, viewing 3D objects, and even collaborating on presentations.
The Vision Pro glasses run on visionOS, an operating system designed by Apple specifically for visual computing. Developers can use familiar tools to create applications for this platform. An app store will be available, offering a wide range of apps for iPhone, iPad, and Vision Pro glasses.
Apple has already confirmed the availability of several apps at launch, including Microsoft Office apps, third-party video conferencing apps, Adobe Lightroom, and a SkyGuide app for stargazing.
Additionally, Apple Vision Pro supports over 100 Apple Arcade games, enabling users to enjoy an immersive gaming experience on a large virtual screen.
Well-known Apple apps such as Safari, Messages, and FaceTime will also be available on the Vision Pro glasses, providing a seamless transition for users.
Apple Vision Pro: User Experience
According to Apple, the Vision Pro’s input system is controlled by the user’s eyes, hands, and voice. The glasses excel in eye tracking, allowing users to navigate apps by simply looking at them, tapping with their fingers to select, scrolling by moving their wrist or using their voice for dictation. The glasses offer full Siri integration, enhancing voice control capabilities.
Upon wearing the Vision Pro glasses for the first time, users can view their surroundings while moving apps in their space freely. The glasses can be controlled to adjust the dimensions of the environment through the Digital Crown controller.
Apple has emphasized that the Vision Pro glasses are designed to keep users connected to the people around them. Through EyeSight, the glasses show the user’s eyes when someone is nearby, ensuring clear communication and signaling when the user’s vision is obstructed. Interacting with the world while wearing the glasses remains intuitive.
The Vision Pro glasses allow users to wirelessly access and display the contents of their Mac screen through the glasses’ 4K display. They also support Bluetooth accessories like AirPods and wireless keyboards.
Apple Vision Pro: Terminology
To clarify the terms used about the Vision Pro glasses:
- VR (Virtual Reality): Completely replaces the user’s view.
- AR (Augmented Reality): Overlays graphics and information in the real world.
- MR (Mixed Reality): Combines both AR and VR.
- XR (Extended Reality): Encompasses AR, VR, and MR.
Apple Vision Pro: Limitations and Restrictions Apple has specified certain conditions under which individuals may be unable to use the Vision Pro glasses. These limitations include:
- Ocular conditions such as strabismus or amblyopia.
- Conditions that affect depth perception.
- Color vision deficiencies.
- Eye disorders impede accurate eye tracking.
- Individuals with photosensitive epilepsy.
- Users under the age of 13.
These are the basic limitations associated with using Apple Vision Pro glasses.
The Future of Computing Unveiled
With the introduction of Apple Vision Pro, Apple is pushing the boundaries of computing and paving the way for an immersive augmented reality experience. While many details remain to be revealed, the Vision Pro glasses promise to redefine how we interact with technology and the world around us.