Apple Vision Pro, augmented and virtual reality revolution: features, cost and release

A new universe of possibilities with Apple Vision Pro, the augmented and virtual reality visor that combines Apple's hardware innovation with cutting-edge design and a powerful operating system.
apple vision pro

Apple has unveiled its latest product, naturally destined to become a trailblazer of its kind: an augmented and virtual reality viewer that promises to elevate the user experience to a new level.

Apple Vision Pro combines Apple’s extensive hardware, software and design expertise. Thus creating a cutting-edge device that will redefine the way we interact with virtual and augmented reality.

In this article, we explore the features and functionality of the Apple Vision Pro, delving into its innovative design, advanced technical specifications, visionOS operating system and integration with the Apple ecosystem. Then the sour notes. Namely, how much it will cost and when it will be released.

Apple Vision Pro: cutting-edge design

While augmented and virtual reality viewers have been on the market for several years, Apple has decided to create its own device in a unique and distinctive way.

The Cupertino-based company’s goal is to make the visor accessible and comfortable for users. Thus moving away from the heavy, uncomfortable and unattractive helmets on the market.

The Apple Vision Pro visor is the result of ten years of work and research in the field of design, combining Apple’s experience with the computing power of the Mac, the portability of the iPhone and the wearability of the Apple Watch.

The visor’s appearance recalls familiar elements found in other Apple products. Such as the digital crowns along the sides, the speakers and the frame. However, the centrepiece of the design is the front, characterised by a single piece of dark glass covering the user’s eyes.

A special element of the visor is the EyeSight technology, which allows the user’s eyes to be viewed through a virtual image generated by the portion of the face covered by the visor itself.

This allows a more natural contact with the people around without having to remove the visor. Furthermore, thanks to sensors that map the user’s head, the visor is able to recreate the user’s virtual presence during video calls, offering a more immersive experience.

Apple Vision Pro: advanced technical specifications

Apple Vision Pro offers an impressive set of advanced technical specifications. Although Apple has not provided all the details, some information has emerged regarding the visor’s main features.

The visor features high-resolution MicroOLED displays behind each lens, with more than 4K resolution for each eye. The amount of total pixels is incredibly high. With as many as 23 million RGB emitters, enabling sharp reproduction of text and images with full HDR support.

In terms of audio, Apple Vision Pro features two speakers with dual drivers each, positioned along the frame near the user’s ears.

Thanks to Audio Ray Tracing technology, the Neural Engine and LiDAR sensor, the viewer is able to map the surrounding space to deliver high-quality spatial audio, immersing users in an unprecedented audiovisual experience.

Two Apple Silicon chips handle all this functionality. The M2 chip, also found in iPads and Macs, and a new co-processor called R1.

The latter is specifically designed to manage the visor’s complex array of sensors and cameras in real time, ensuring a smooth, lag-free experience.

Thanks to the R1 chip, the visor offers eight times less latency than a blink, ensuring responsive and realistic interaction with the device.

Apple Vision Pro has a wide range of sensors, including LED-based pupil motion tracking sensors and infrared cameras. These sensors eliminate the need for cumbersome hand controllers, relying on natural eye movement to interact with the viewer.

On the front of the visor are a pair of high-resolution cameras that transmit over a billion pixels per second to the visor’s two displays, allowing users to clearly see the world around them.

In total, the visor has 12 cameras, 6 microphones and 5 depth and motion sensors. This sensor system allows the user’s head and hands to be precisely tracked, offering real-time 3D mapping and enabling a wide range of hand gestures and positions.

The visionOS operating system on the Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro uses a new operating system called visionOS. This operating system is based on macOS, iOS and iPadOS, and offers a user interface familiar to Apple users.

Apple’s native applications, such as Safari, Messages, Notes, Calculator, Music and Photos, are available on visionOS.

The visionOS user interface is projected into the surrounding reality, integrating virtual elements into the user’s environment.

The virtual elements are three-dimensional and integrate with the real environment, casting shadows on surrounding surfaces and providing a crisp visualisation from all angles.

The multitasking mode of visionOS, called Stage Manager, allows applications to be organised and managed intuitively. And allowing users to choose their desired level of immersion.

VisionOS integrates seamlessly with the Apple ecosystem. Thus allowing for the extension of the Mac’s screen into the viewer, the use of accessories such as keyboards and mice, and the rapid transfer of files via WiFi connectivity and Apple’s AirDrop technology.

This integration allows users to use Apple Vision Pro as an extension of their existing Apple devices. Thus providing a complete and seamless experience.

Read also: Spatial computing, what is it and its future developments

Security and Privacy on Apple Vision Pro

Apple has placed great emphasis on security and privacy in the Apple Vision Pro. The viewer uses the Optic ID security system, which relies on pupil mapping to ensure secure user identification.

This system offers an additional layer of security on top of the already known identification technologies such as Touch ID and Face ID.

In addition, the control of the viewer based on the movement of the pupils is completely separate from the applications. Thus ensuring maximum privacy and reducing the possibility of tracking by applications or websites. In short, no more ATOMIC virus incidents, hopefully!

Apple Vision Pro: release date and price

Apple Vision Pro will be available to developers during WWDC, giving them the opportunity to try it out and create dedicated apps for the visor. The official market launch is early 2024.

The list price of the Apple Vision Pro will be $3,499. But the actual price may vary depending on states. Initially, the visor will only be available in the United States. But Apple has promised that it will expand soon to other selected nations at a later date.

Read also: The 8 technological inventions that did not exist in 2000 but are now indispensable

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