Apple Vision Pro Introduced, marks a historic transition in tech 

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Upcoming Tech, Hardware

In June 2023, Apple unveiled the first spatial computer, a new AR headset that they want to revolutionize your workspace. Apple calls it Apple Vision Pro, and CEO Tim Cook says that it is “built upon decades of Apple innovation.” It’s about time Apple brought something new to the table.  

While the headset can be fully immersive, for things like viewing panoramic photos or watching videos, it is designed to blend a user’s environment with their digital space. It is supposed to feel like your applications are right there, and from the early users’ reports, it seems that Apple has massively achieved that.  

The two displays of the headset utilize visionOS, what Apple calls the “world’s first spatial operating system,” and brags an unimaginable 23 million pixels.  

The benefits of Apple Vision Pro 

Courtesy of Apple. Apple Vision Pro screen as seen in a user's physical environment.

The gigantic benefit of using a user’s eyes as the screen? An “infinite canvas” to use for your digital needs. Different window sizes, 360-degrees possible to use, and a keyboard that goes wherever you are. 

Not only would this headset be useful for taking work meetings, working from home, or working out in the world with the possibility of huge displays, it is going to set the standard for entertainment. While sitting at home alone on their couch, a user can have the experience of looking at a 100 feet wide screen with advanced audio to feel especially immersive. Someone with Vision Pro also has access to 100 Apple Arcade games, a library that is enticing and will hopefully grow with time. 

Apple also plans to introduce Immersive Environments with Apple Vision Pro, which will place the user in a naturally beautiful scene that they feel they are a part of, like an idyllic lakeside.  

The specs of the device are breathtaking, with two chips used in the system. The R1 chip processes input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones to optimize the user’s experience. According to Apple, the R1 chip provides a constant stream of new images within 12 milliseconds. This is eight times faster than the blink of an eye. For all intents and purposes, Apple Vision Pro is all real-time with no gaps in performance.  

For ensured security and privacy, Apple is also introducing Optic ID, a new form of authentication that checks the user’s irises. With this information, Apple Vision Pro can be instantly unlocked. This data is encrypted, apps will not have access to it, and it is stored locally, never going to Apple servers.  

George Orwell has concerns, but the rest of us are just excited for the arcade games.  

The drawbacks and questions of Apple Vision Pro 

Unfortunately, Apple Vision Pro does have caveats. In this iteration, it’s imperfect. The first massive drawback is the price tag: $3,499 USD. This is inaccessible to many and marks this historic piece of technology for the well-off and elite. Luckily for Apple, there’s enough interest that it will almost certainly be a commercial success. 

If someone uses glasses, they will need to buy additional inserts to correct their vision digitally. These lens inserts will come from ZEISS Optical Inserts. What the potential price would be is unknown.  

Finally, this is a device that is meant to be used while plugged in. Fine enough for use in your home, but this limits the possibility of the system being used in cafes, libraries, and other coworking spaces. While unplugged, the device lasts for an underwhelming two hours. That’s just about enough to take one meeting and check your email.  

The bigger picture in the first spatial computer 

Courtesy of Apple. Close up shot of the Apple Vision Pro headset, including wires and battery.

Apple and Microsoft have been vying for usership since their beginnings. What has separated them for years is the idea that Apple has a friendlier interface for users, while Microsoft is more technical, advanced, and more beloved in professional spaces.  

This headset from Apple is more than a new shiny toy. It is their bid to rejoin the workforce.  

What is more exciting than this iteration of the headset are the systems that will emerge in the next five or ten years. Depending on the success and functionality of Apple Vision Pro, it may change our expectations of computers and tech. Whatever happens, it is bound to be exciting.