During WWDC today, Apple announced the Apple Vision Pro, a “revolutionary spatial computer” that will “blend digital content with the physical world” and allow users to stay connected.
My first initial impression was that the Apple Vision Pro might be perfect for snowboarding until I realized that this device is tentatively priced at CAD $5000/USD $3400 and is probably not meant to be in frigid temperatures.
“Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing,” Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said in a press release. “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 Apple Vision Pro retails for CAD $5000
Apple Vision Pro uses visionOS, described as “the first spatial operating system,” which allows users to interact with digital content that makes it feel physically present. The display features 23 million pixels across the two displays and uses a custom dual-chip design with Apple silicon. Using the M2 and R1 chips to power the device, the R1 specifically processes 12 cameras, five sensors and six microphones so that content appears in real-time in front of users. The Vision Pro can also render at 4K and 30FPS using micro-OLED technology.
The new spatial device is supposed to change how users compute at home and interact with their favourite shows, apps, and more.
VisionOS, for example, includes a three-dimensional interface for apps to be freed from your phone. The Apple Vision Pro adds infinite screen real estate so you can be productive at work and access your favourite apps. There’s even support for the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad to create a portable 4K work environment.
There are two ultra-high-resolution displays, so the Apple Vision Pro can turn into a movie theatre with a screen that feels 100 feet wide and spatial audio included. You are free to watch movies and TV shows, even 3D movies. Additionally, with controller support, you can play over 100 Apple Arcade titles on the same big screen you watch movies.
Apple is adding Environments, a way to experience the world via the spatial headset and a twist of the Digital Crown, allowing you to immerse yourself in the dynamic landscapes.
There’s also a three-dimensional camera included to capture and immerse yourself in memories, as Apple says. Spatial audio and video allow you to be transported back to a certain moment, and you can access your iCloud library and view photo libraries via the Apple Vision Pro at a life-size scale.
FaceTime calls also take advantage of your room by showing all parties in the call on the display via life-sized tiles with Spatial Audio, making it feel like you’re in the room with the other people on the call. Those using the headset are shown as a Persona, a digital representation used by Apple’s advanced machine learning.
The Apple Vision Pro also had its version of the App Store, where you can discover apps and content made for the headset while browsing the same apps available on your iPhone or iPad; the same app even runs on the Vision Pro.
Regarding visionOS, the new operating system was based on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Apple has created a low-latency and “revolutionary” operating system to unlock new opportunities at work and home.
VisionOS responds dynamically to natural light and casting shadows, helping users understand scale and distance. Apple Vision Pro uses a new input system controlled by the user’s eyes, hands, and voice and most things can be done by looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrists to scroll, and voice to dictate.
Apple says that the Vision Pro also used Optic ID, a new system to authenticate a user by looking at the iris and unlocking the device. Apple promises a user’s Optic ID data is encrypted and not accessible by apps and never leaves the device, meaning it isn’t stored on Apple’s servers.
Regarding battery life, Apple says it is intended to be plugged in, used all day, and used for “up to two hours” when using the external battery shown above.