Apple has introduced Vision Pro – an all-new spatial computing platform that leverages augmented reality and virtual reality to allow users to break the bounds of a physical screen and interact with apps and content in a completely different way.
Introduced at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference, the Vision Pro is Apple’s first new product in almost a decade and heralds a whole new form of computing.
Priced at $US3,499, the Apple Vision Pro will be available in the US in early 2024 with other countries to follow.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing.
“Built upon decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before — with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations.
“It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers.”
The device is running the new visionOS software and is designed to offer users complete transparency all the way through to full visual isolation depending on what you want to do.
Apple Vision Pro is a standalone computer powered by a brand new R1 processor to deliver almost zero latency and zero discomfort.
It can stream new images to the displays in less than 12 milliseconds – that’s eight times faster than the blink of an eye.
Onboard are 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones to offer a view of your surroundings and will also monitoring eye and hand movements and give you the ability to respond with gestures and your voice.
Inside are two postage stamp-sized microOLED displays which manage to pack more than 23 million pixels across both – that’s more than your 4K TV.
As a result users will be able to enjoy 4K HDR (high dynamic range) content like having their own personal cinema.
That high resolution also makes text sharp and clear.
There is also a separate battery pack connected to the unit which has about two hours runtime on a full charge.
The battery about the size of an iPhone has been attached separately with a cable to reduce the weight of the Vision Pro so it’s comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
It is a 3D spatial computing platform so you will be able open virtual windows like having separate monitors in your environment.
A collection of apps will also be floating in front of you and all you need to do to highlight them is to simply glance at them.
This is achieved through internal eye tracking cameras that can follow your eye movements.
But that’s not the only way users can interact with the device – Apple Vision Pro will also respond to hand gestures so tapping your fingers is like a mouse click and moving your finger will allow scrolling.
The device can also support physical keyboards and mice for when it’s time to type of physically interact with your content, app or game.
And if there’s a nearby Mac, all you need to do is look at the Mac’s screen to make a connection and interact with that computer’s content and applications.
The Apple Vision Pro is made from lightweight material and has single sheet of polished glass on the outside that merges seamlessly to an aluminium alloy frame.
The seal is made from soft textiles and has been designed all head and face shapes and sizes.
The head band is knitted as a single piece and is secured with a simple mechanism, making it easy to change to another size or style of band.
There are also mini speakers with an integrated dual driver built into the band that offers spatial audio to go with the spatial visuals in front of you.
The audio is also personally optimised to each user depending on their head size and geometry.
Disney has announced Disney+ will be available to use with Apple Vision Pro so users can enjoy their movies and TV shows like never before.
Other applications and content can also be viewed in their own window with the ability to block out your surroundings with the twist of the digital crown on top of the device.
Also onboard is Apple’s first 3D camera with the ability to capture memories in spatial video and spatial audio so you can look back on them like watching the real thing.
While you’re wearing Vision Pro – users can choose to see their surroundings and interact with others without the need to take off the headset.
And they will also be able to see your eyes through the front glass as well.
The Apple Vision Pro will provide customers with a new way to watch their movies and play their games.
It can also be for FaceTime calls with the people in your floating in front of you.
But how do they see you?
Users can create a Persona — this is a digital version of themselves with a scan of your face through the device’s front-facing cameras.
It then uses machine learning to reflect your face and hand movements in real time.
It will be possible to do things together like watch a movie, browse photos, or collaborate on a presentation.
The Apple Vision Pro will be released in early 2024 and will be priced at $US3,499.
There is no word on what it will cost in Australia but if you did a conversion, it will probably be more than $5,000.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to Cupertino as a guest of Apple