Apple Inc. has been working on developing an augmented reality (AR) headset for several years, and the company's CEO, Tim Cook, has said that he believes AR will be "the next big thing" in technology. People have been eagerly waiting for it and the WWDC 2023 was unlike any other with the announcement and display of Vision Pro!
Here are some key points regarding Apple's new AR headset, Vision Pro:
The Apple VR headset is a high-end device that will provide immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences, as well as AR capabilities. It is to have a display resolution of 8K per eye, which is significantly higher than existing VR headsets.
The headset also reportedly has advanced tracking features, such as eye-tracking and hand-tracking, which will enable more natural and intuitive interactions with virtual objects. It also includes sensors for environment mapping and spatial audio, which will further enhance the immersive experience.
According to reports, the Apple VR headset is likely to be targeted at professionals and gamers, rather than mainstream consumers. This is because it is an expensive device that will require a high-end computer to run.
As with all Apple products, the VR headset is tightly integrated with the company's ecosystem of hardware, software, and services. This includes support for Apple's ARKit platform, which enables developers to create AR experiences for iOS devices.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into Vision Pro and its WWDC announcement to get the excitement going!
Apple Inc. is known to be extremely careful with its choice of words. You might have noticed that Apple referred to Vision Pro as enabling augmented reality, immersive environments, and spatial computing. Words such as XR, Metaverse, Virtual Reality and Mixed reality were nowhere to be found during the event.
Almost on the lines of the past product announcements, Apple Inc. made something brand new and relatively unknown make sense to many users by actually focusing on how it will help enhance human lives in many ways such as:
Similar to the Apple Watch and iPad, Vision Pro can be used immediately with 1000s of applications that are already in use on Apple devices.
The apps featured in the launch were the apps users are already are familiar with and love that are being taken into the "next dimension". For example, a new way to capture photographs and re-experience them. A more natural and easy way to use FaceTime and Zoom. The capability to watch sports and movies with a virtual monitor at a size that would have been impossible to fit in your living room, and also play Apple Arcade games.
The announcement also featured Apple TV+, Apple Health apps, Apple productivity apps, Siri, FaceTime and much more. Apple Inc. is taking its services to a new post-smartphone, post-Mac era.
Apple Inc. realizes that one of the common design complaints about VR HMDs is that the user is disconnected from the world and so they introduced EyeSight. Apple also made a clear point to raise OpticID as a new and advanced form of authentication.
While there were ample monitor replacement use cases in the announcement, there were comparatively less AR apps. Those that did make it into the feature announcement were from developers. Apple, however, did make a point to highlight the new software suite needed to build new apps for Vision Pro, including Unity, and is thus giving developers enough time to create apps for its early 2024 debut.
Just like the iPhone which replaced other types of phone and iPod, Apple made a point to announce many devices Vision Pro will replace including Television and high end cameras. This was a smart move to justify the skyrocketing price of this first generation device.
The Vision Pro debut felt as if it was similar to the first video of the Apple Watch with close ups of fabric, loops, digital crown, premium quality materials, and a very sleek design.
While the gap between the announcement and the availability might seem long to Apple users and Tech Geeks, this might not be unprecedented. Let’s take the scenario when Apple Watch was announced in September 2014 and launched in April 2015.
Overall, the Apple VR headset represents an exciting new development in the world of AR and VR, and could have profound implications for a wide range of industries, from entertainment and gaming to education and healthcare.