Apple reveals mixed reality ‘Vision Pro’ headset

The Apple Vision Pro will introduce audiences to so-called 'spatial computing'.
apple vision pro headset mixed reality wwdc 2024

Apple’s long-rumoured mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, has been officially revealed at WWDC 2023 – and it appears there are lofty hopes for this device. Apple introduced it as a revolutionary ‘spatial computer’ designed to introduce new ways for users to interact with the digital world.

‘Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,’ Tim Cook, Apple CEO said of the headset. ‘Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing … It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers.’

According to Cook, the Apple Vision Pro will allow for the development of new types of apps that can be interacted with in ‘mixed reality’ – via a lens that imposes a digital interface on the real world, while using the headset. A brief look at this integration during WWDC 2023 showed a person scrolling through news and other entertainment apps, using eye tracking and hand movement to navigate menus.

Read: Meta Quest Gaming Showcase 2023: All the new VR games announced

Users will be able to watch TV shows and films in a dedicated cinema mode, which darkens the room, or play games in similar fashion. A deep dive trailer for the device revealed a user picking up and connecting a PS5 DualSense controller, and playing NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition via Apple Arcade.

Over 100 Apple Arcade games are reportedly compatible with the Apple Vision Pro, with players able to beam them to a flat, virtual screen. This isn’t the same as a VR gaming experience – but it will allow Apple Arcade subscribers to play their games in a personal space.

In future, this compatibility may lead to dedicated Vision Pro VR/AR/MR apps and games, but for now, the device appears more tailored towards static screens and virtual interaction.

Here’s a quick rundown of the focal features for the Apple Vision Pro.

  • New ways to interact with favourite apps, memories, TV shows, movies, FaceTime.
  • Three-dimensional interface that frees apps from regular displays.
  • Transform any space into a ‘personal movie theatre’ with Spatial Audio and Immersive Video.
  • Three-dimensional camera included to record events and experiences.
  • FaceTime can be experienced with life-size tiles, and anyone who wears a Vision Pro is represented by a Persona, a digital representation of themselves.
  • EyeSight mode means you can see anyone near you easily, while the headset displays your eyes.

These features are backed by Apple‘s powerful M2 silicon chip, which powers their current range of Macbooks. There’s an additional R1 chip to process camera input. The device can be used continuously while plugged in, or it’ll last around two hours on its own in battery mode.

An additional catch here is the price. When the Apple Vision Pro launches in early 2024, it will cost US $3,499. For most, that will likely be prohibitively expensive – ensuring the Vision Pro launches as a niche device only for the most dedicated mixed reality loyalists.

We’ll likely hear more about plans for this device in the coming months, as Apple reveals more about its functionality and how new games and apps will leverage the tech for unique gaming and everyday experiences.

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.