Monday, May 20, 2024
VR&AR

Apple announces Apple Vision Pro, its long-awaited VR headset


Described as a new type of computer, by Tim Cook on stage at WWDC, the new Apple Vision Pro blends the virtual and real world for a mixed reality experience – not quite the virtual reality headset that was originally predicted by industry watchers. As Tim Cook said, it’s about spatial computing.


The Apple Vision Pro is a headset, but one you look through, with the interface appearing virtually in your eyeline. That will mean you can still see the room around you, while being able to access all the information floating in front of you. It’s designed not leave you isolated, allowing you see the world, but also blend you into a spatial experience. Thanks to a system called EyeSight, the exterior of the Vision Pro will reflect what sort of state you’re using the headset in – allowing others to see if you’re concentrating on something, or just looking at them.

POCKET-LINT VIDEO OF THE DAYSCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

EyeSight, however, really creates a virtualisation of your eyes on the exterior of the device, while you’ll also be able to use Vision Pro to scan your face to create a digital persona that can appear on virtual calls.

Apps Vision Pro

Apple

The Apple Vision Pro will allow you to look around, talk to Siri or make simple hand gestures to control what’s in front of you, so control is designed to be seamless and intuitive.

The Apple Vision Pro will of course be integrated with your other Apple products, so it’s in sync with your iPhone and iPad, but you can also integrate your Mac just by looking at it, to have the display content move into your Apple Vision Pro. You’ll be able to move around your different apps, and it even supports FaceTime, with floating video tiles for those on the call, and support from spatial audio so you can hear voices coming from the correct place.

Apple is pushing Vision Pro as both a work device and a home device, allowing you to dive into your Apple Photos so you can view those great panoramic photos on a massive screen. But Vision Pro can not only let you view photos, but take them too, as Vision Pro is a 3D camera, allowing you to capture content with just the push of a button.

Side view

Apple

Like other VR headsets, Vision Pro will give you a personal movie space, using spatial audio, giving you a huge screen to view your movies, while the rest of the room around your vision is dimmed. The idea again is to be immersive, without cutting you off completely in a dark space, which happens with many other headsets.

You’ll also be able to play games on Vision Pro, with over 100 Arcade titles available on launch day, so you can dive in and start playing in a totally new way. Disney+ will also be available on day 1, with the promise of new ways of engaging with content from the various brands that Disney covers, like Marvel and Star Wars.

The front of the Vision Pro is a single sheet of glass, while the frame is made from a piece of aluminium, with a soft textiles for the strap and baffle around the face, designed for comfort. The light seal will come in different sizes, while the strap has integrated audio pods to provide the audio. For those who wear glasses, there will be Zeiss lenses for vision correction.

Design Vision Pro

Apple

Moving onto the display, there’s a Micro LED display with 23 million pixels across both eyes, while there’s a sensor array to provide eye tracking, lidar 3D scanner, head tracking as well as handtracking. All this data has to be crunched by the Apple M2 chip, but there’s also a new chip called R1 which runs in tandem. The battery will provide 2 hours of use, but it can also be plugged in for all day use.

Apple Vision Pro – and Vision OS – will have its own app store, with full support for developers, so a full range of apps can be bought to Vision Pro. There will be support for the digital persona in apps like Webex or Zoom, while Microsoft Office will be able to take advantage of the expansive virtual canvas on Vision Pro.

The Apple Vision Pro will cost $3499 when it launches early in 2024. While you’re waiting for launch, Apple is going to be developing more apps and experiences for Vision Pro.



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