Apple Vision Pro: The Next Generation of Augmented Reality

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Apple became the latest brand to release a virtual reality headset when they unleashed the Apple Vision Pro in the United States on February 2, 2024, with a worldwide release scheduled for later in the year. However, Apple insists it’s more of an augmented reality system and prefers that you call it a special computer, and it’s the first unique product from Apple since they came out with the Apple Watch in 2015.

When Apple showcased the Vision Pro at Apple’s 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference in 2023, they purposely avoided putting the headset in a gaming environment, relying instead on showcasing the headset’s other amazing features that will benefit non-gamers.

Vision Pro Key Features

Unmatched Visual Clarity with Micro-OLED Displays

The Vision Pro boasts twin micro-OLED displays, each with a resolution higher than any previous VR headset, which will provide you with a clearer, sharper image than you can find on any other headset. A better visual display will create a more immersive experience, and it also allows for more readable text.

Spatial Computing Capabilities

The headset makes use of augmented reality (AR) to overlay digital content onto real-world surroundings so you can still be a part of the real world while you are getting work done and completing tasks. However, it can seamlessly transition into full virtual reality if needed.

Revolutionary Interaction: Advanced Hand and Eye Tracking

Unlike other headsets that can track the motion of your head but require you to use one or more controllers to interact with things in augmented or virtual reality, the Apple Vision Pro has advanced eye tracking, allowing you to look at things to highlight or select them. You can interact with objects in the augmented world using your hands, which helps to create a familiar environment that’s not much different from operating a smartphone or iPad.

High-Quality Video Passthrough

The Vision Pro offers the best video passthrough quality of any headset and does so with minimal latency.​

3D Photo and Video Capture

The headset includes spatial cameras capable of capturing 3D photos and videos and supports viewing spatial videos shot on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It allows you to relive past events and can be quite powerful.

Challenges and Limitations: High Costs and Practicality Concerns

  • One of the main hurdles the Apple Vision Pro will need to overcome is its high price tag, which is several times higher than its nearest competitor, but Apple doesn’t really worry about high cost.
  • It’s also quite heavy, with the weight on the front making it hard to wear for a long time.
  • Hand and eye tracking still needs more work.
  • It’s not really practical for everyday use.
  • The current library of apps and content is still very limited, with most catering to specific, high-end applications such as professional use in design, engineering, and media production.

These features and challenges indicate that while the Vision Pro is a technological marvel, its high cost, limited practicality, and specific content library pose significant hurdles for widespread everyday use, especially when so many other, much more accessible headsets didn’t catch on.