In an early morning press release, Apple announced the launch of their Vision Pro mixed reality (aka VR) headset. Preorders will be kicking off on January 19th and appearing on shelves on February 2nd. The unit starts at $3,500, and prescription lens inserts for the device will be available for $149, and reading insets for $99.
Channeling his inner late Steve Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created. Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we connect, create, and explore.” As only the third major announcement since Cook became CEO, it’s also the company’s first in seven years.
Unlike other VR headsets, the device is designed to be transparent and worn like ski goggles. It overlays information and graphics over the outside world and displays the eye of the user on the outside. With other companies trying and failing miserably in the space, Apple is in a tough position for not only trying to prove themselves but also in trying to take over a so far failed space.
The hefty price tag and lack of app developers and other companies supporting the augmented reality devices have made them harder to catch on than many expect. Should Apple pay attention to the room and ensure the collision detection and the responses are more intuitive than other companies, they could be on to something here.
When first announced in June 2023 at their Worldwide Developers Conference, they set the stage to encourage companies to develop with their device in mind. Many balked at the astronomical price, thus ensuring that at least the first batch would be purchased extensively by Apple fanatics and resellers.