Apple joins the virtual reality race and launches “Vision Pro”.

Released: June 7, 2023

Photo by Laurenz Heymann via Unsplash

Apple joins the virtual reality race and launches “Vision Pro”.

From Movieguide® staff

Apple unveiled its Vision Pro augmented/virtual reality headset during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday.

“Building on decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before – with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of breakthrough innovations,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “It opens up incredible experiences for our users and exciting new possibilities for our developers.”

The headset starts at $3,499 and will be available in the US in early 2024. The Vision Pro runs on a new operating system, VisionOS, which Apple says was “designed from the ground up to support the low-latency requirements of spatial computing.” The headset has been in development for seven years.

Apple’s introduction to VR and AR marks the first new product category Apple has entered since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015. During the launch, the tech giant presented the headset as a game changer in VR, just like the iPhone was for smartphones. The company expects to sell 900,000 units in the first year.

The Vision Pro is controlled exclusively via eye and hand movements as well as voice inputs. To let viewers know if the user is in augmented or virtual reality, the system uses a feature Apple calls EyeSight. When a user is in augmented reality, the headset shows the user’s eye to other people, while in virtual reality the screen is opaque. The headset offers ultra-high resolution with more pixels for each eye than a 4K TV and features a custom-designed specialty audio system.

To ensure the product is an instant hit, Apple has given some developers early access to Vision Pro to create VisionOS-exclusive apps and games. The headset also supports hundreds of thousands of apps and games already available on the App Store. In addition, the product supports the Unity game engine, so developers can transfer their products to the headset without having to learn a new programming language.

Sharing Vision Pro’s immense potential, Disney CEO Bob Iger took the stage during the launch and said the platform will enable his company to create “deeply immersive” stories in ways that were “previously impossible.” ” may be. Iger’s segment included various concepts that allow Disney to bring “real magic” to users. Iger also added that Disney+ will be available on the headset from day one.

While Apple is fully committed to VR and AR, it remains unclear whether the product will bring the technology into the mainstream. Although the technology has been around for over a decade, it’s still largely untapped. Last year, sales of AR and VR headsets fell 21%. Additionally, Meta, Apple’s main competitor in this space, currently holds about 80% market share and its next-gen headset, the Meta Quest 3, also sells for a significantly lower $500.

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