Apple’s new augmented reality headset, Vision Pro, has been unveiled.
In its first significant hardware launch in nearly a decade, Apple has launched the much-anticipated augmented reality headset, Apple Vision Pro.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the new headset “seamlessly blends the real and virtual worlds.”
The company also revealed the latest iPhone operating system and MacBook Air improvements.
The headset has a two-hour battery life, costs $3,499 (£2,849), and will be available in the United States early next year.
The price is far more than that of contemporary virtual reality headsets on the market. Meta introduced their Quest, which costs $449, last week.
Apple talked little on generative artificial intelligence, the hotly debated field in Silicon Valley.
The company’s stock price decreased somewhat during the announcement, which took place at Apple Park, the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, during a developer’s conference.
The BBC is one of the media outlets present for the occasion, but has yet to test the new technology.
‘Ski goggles’ Apple Vision Pro stands apart from other virtual reality headsets on the market, looking more like a pair of ski goggles than a virtual reality headset.
Apple chose the term “augmented reality” to characterize the new device’s capabilities.
Augmented reality, also known as mixed reality, superimposes virtual things in the actual environment, allowing us to blend reality with virtual reality by viewing through a screen.
In a virtual environment, users can access apps, watch movies, and compose documents. However, there is little evidence of a large market for this type of wearable technology so far.
Senior editor of MacRumors Hartley Charlton was dubious how popular the headset would be with the general population.
“It will not initially appeal to mainstream consumers due to its extremely high price point and immediate shortcomings as a first-generation device, such as its separate wired battery pack,” he said.
He did, however, say that Apple has a history of “overcoming skepticism” about new devices and has previously urged customers to “part with their cash to add a new gadget to their repertoire.”
Mr Cook claimed in his sales pitch that the headset allowed users to “see, hear, and interact with digital content just like it’s in your physical space.”
It is operated by a mix of your hands, eyes, and voice, such as tapping your fingers together to select and flicking your fingers to scroll.
The announcement comes just a week after Meta and Lenovo unveiled new versions of their pre-existing virtual-reality headsets that do not superimpose items on a view of the actual world.
Meta has also made significant investments in mixed reality, but the sector is currently failing.
According to International Data Corporation, the headset market suffered a 54% reduction in global sales last year.
Apple’s most recent major hardware release was the Apple Watch in 2015.
According to Forrester Research’s Thomas Husson, it may take some time for Apple’s new headgear to take off.
“The overall AR/VR space has been a bit overhyped over the past few years with the metaverse and that kind of experience,” he says. “That’s why I believe it will take a little longer.”
“Having said that, if I told you 10-15 years ago that people would be willing to pay nearly $2,000 for a mobile phone, I doubt many people would have said they would.”
In addition to the Vision Pro announcement, Apple also launched iOS17, the most recent version of its iPhone operating system.
“Contact posters” – a photo or image of yourself that will appear on a person’s phone when you call them – and “live voicemail” – which delivers a real-time transcription of an answerphone message left for you – are among the new features.
This transcription also applies to audio messages sent through Apple Messages.
In addition, Apple has launched a mechanism called Check-In, which will notify a friend or family member when you arrive home.
If your journey is significantly delayed, it has the ability to inform others that you have not yet arrived safely at your destination.
The new operating system will be released in the autumn of 2023.