Apple has always been synonymous with innovation and interest in technological advancement. The tech giant had been rumoured to enter the ‘wearable technology‘ market for a while and when the Apple Vision Pro announcement came out, it sent the company’s fans into a frenzy. The dream is finally a reality now as Apple Vision Pro headsets were launched in the US stores on Friday.
Loyal Apple fans across the country were spotted lining up in significant numbers to either purchase or try out the first-generation headset. This marks the Cupertino giant’s first new product launch since the introduction of the Apple Watch seven years ago. Apple CEO Tim Cook was also present at the company’s flagship store at Fifth Avenue in New York to celebrate the launch of its new product.
Customers who pre-ordered the headset can pick it up from all Apple Store locations in the country. And interested buyers can book an in-store demo and get a guided demo experience to check out what the Vision Pro offers. Among Apple’s most expensive products at $3,499, the Vision Pro comes with 600 new apps and games designed specifically for the headset.
The First Buyer
In a video trending on social media platforms, you can see the first Vision Pro customer coming out of the flagship store with his new device. The Apple employees gave him a warm welcome as they erupted in applause and admiration, creating a superstar moment for the delighted customer.
The first person to walk out of the Apple Store with their Apple Vision Pro gets a big round of applause 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/a9IsMB9Kqp— Kate Kozuch (@KateKozuch) February 2, 2024
A Recap Of The Headset
To give you a quick recap, the Apple Vision Pro is a Mixed Reality headset that lets users interact with apps in a virtual environment using their eyes, voice and hand gestures. It has a high-resolution display that offers 4K resolution per eye and presents a 100-foot screen that can be used to watch content. Running on visionOS, the headset comes with a host of sensors having 12 cameras and 6 microphones.
The Apple Vision Pro also comes with built-in ‘audio pods’ placed near the ears which emit sound in a 360-degree space. Apple claims that the Vision Pro can last up to 2 hours on a single charge and offers somewhere around 2.5 hours of video playback. The Cupertino-based tech giant also said that the Vision Pro is compatible with more than one million apps that are already available on the App Store.
Tim Cook Addresses The Employees
Later, in a memo to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook described “the excitement for this moment” as “palpable“. “It’s an incredible thing to watch people experience Apple Vision Pro for the very first time. The impossible becomes possible right before their eyes, and often they don’t have the words to describe the experience. It really is a technology you have to see — and see through — to believe,” he said.
“And it was truly a gift to hear customers share their amazement, their emotion, and their dreams for this incredible device we’ve created. The whole experience reaffirmed the magnitude of this moment, as well as our Retail teams’ vital role in delivering this unprecedented technology to the world,” Cook further added.
Seeing people’s reactions to trying Apple Vision Pro for the first time today was wonderful. Some people had tears in their eyes! Our mission is to enrich people’s lives, and I could feel that happening in real time. What a day! pic.twitter.com/VOOVBgrEbo— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 3, 2024
Apple’s impact, driven by “spatial computing,” is just starting. What is spatial computing? It’s about blending the real world with a virtual one using technology. It lets people and machines work together smoothly, manipulating things and spaces. This involves using augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Apple’s brand-new Vision Pro headset is already getting put through drop tests. And it seems the futuristic wearable can take a bit of a beating. AppleTrack‘s Sam Kohl went ahead and tossed the expensive new device around to see how much abuse it can withstand. That includes bumps, drops, wall collisions, et al.
Turns out the Vision Pro glass holds up surprisingly well to normal wear and tear. Sam Kohl simulated some clumsy household knocks by purposefully banging it against walls. It picked up some scuffs, sure, but no shattering.
Of course, if you do manage to smash your Apple Vision Pro’s screen, the repair cost is no joke. It is $799 without AppleCare, or $299 with their protection plan. For “other damage,” Apple quotes up to $2,399!
The Reviews Are In
All of the reviewers praise the tech – CNET‘s Scott Stein calls it a “mind-blowing look at an unfinished future,” while The Verge‘s Nilay Patel calls it “magic,” but warns that “the technology to build a true optical AR display that works well enough to replace an everyday computer just isn’t there yet.“
The exact weight of the Vision Pro is 21.2 – 22.9 ounces, or 600 – 650 grams, depending on the configuration, which doesn’t include the 353g battery. “After half an hour the headset feels top-heavy,” wrote Stein, referring to the setup with the Solo Knit headband. The Dual Loop band is “a better fit for long work sessions.”
Stein said the experience of watching movies with the Vision Pro was “better than any TV” he had in his house. But when it comes to EyeSight, the display that’s placed on the front of the Vision Pro’s goggles to display a virtual representation of your actual eyes, apparently only looks good in Apple’s promo photos.
Most reviewers feel that the device is mostly a glimpse of what is possible, but it might take years and several iterations to get there. Nonetheless, it makes for a revolutionary move on behalf of Apple. What do you feel about this new piece of wearable technology?