Apple has announced that its much-anticipated Vision Pro augmented and virtual reality headset will launch on February 2nd in the United States, with pre-orders beginning on January 19th. The Vision Pro marks Apple’s first entry into the spatial computing market, and expectations are high for the new device.
Vision Pro Specs and Features
The Vision Pro headset will feature two ultra high-resolution displays to provide immersive visuals, spatial audio for surround sound, hand tracking capabilities, and multiple cameras for mixed reality experiences.
According to reports, the Vision Pro will offer:
- Dual 4K OLED microdisplays
- 140 degree field of view
- Eye tracking and iris scanning tech
- Over a dozen cameras for hand tracking and scene mapping
- Spatial audio speakers built into the headstrap
- M1 Pro performance with multiple chips
- 16GB RAM and 256/512/1024GB storage options
- All-day battery life with quick charge support
The headset will run Apple’s new VisionOS software, which is based on iOS. This will allow the Vision Pro to run both virtual reality apps and experiences, as well as augmented reality apps that blend digital objects into the real world.
Vision Pro Price and Accessories
Apple will sell the Vision Pro headset for $3499 in the United States. This positions it as a high-end device meant for professionals, developers, and early adopters rather than mainstream consumers.
The company will also sell additional accessories, including:
- Vision Charger: $79 – A compact charging dock for the Vision Pro headset. Offers precise alignment and quick charging.
- Vision Controller: $119 – An ergonomic controller for navigating in VR/AR apps. Has touchpad, buttons, haptics, and finger tracking.
- Vision Pod: $499 – A small, self-contained computer that contains an M2 chip. Allows headset to connect wirelessly rather than tethered to a Mac/iPhone. Doubles battery life.
These accessories suggest that Apple is aiming to create an entire ecosystem around the Vision platform over time.
Apple Positions Itself in Growing Market
The overall market for augmented and virtual reality technology is still quite small, but growing rapidly. According to data from IDC, less than 15 million AR/VR headsets were shipped globally last year. However, the market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of over 50% in the coming years.
By launching a high-quality, feature-rich headset like Vision Pro, Apple is hoping to position itself as a leader in this emerging product category – much like it did with smartphones and smartwatches.
Other companies making plays in this market include Meta (with its Quest headsets), Sony, HTC, and smaller players like Magic Leap. But many see Apple as being in the best position to popularize headworn AR/VR thanks to its product design skills, developer ecosystem, retail presence, and marketing muscle.
Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in an investor note, “The Vision Pro announcement underscores Apple’s leadership in consumer technologies. We believe Apple can drive rapid AR/VR adoption over the next 3-5 years, and establish another multi-billion dollar revenue stream from the spatial computing platforms of the future.”
What Vision Pro Means for Apple’s Roadmap
The launch of Vision Pro confirms that Apple sees spatial computing as a major new platform – alongside existing pillars like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken for years about his belief that AR/VR will transform everything from gaming and entertainment to communication, education, manufacturing, and health care.
With millions invested in its operating system, custom silicon, display technology, and application ecosystem – not to mention acquiring startups across the AR/VR landscape – Apple is clearly committed to this space for the long-term.
Following this initial high-end Vision Pro headset that kicks things off, rumors suggest Apple has at least two more AR/VR products in its roadmap:
- Vision One – A more affordable consumer-focused headset expected in 2026. Likely priced around $1000-1500.
- Vision Glass – Sleek augmented reality glasses to overlay digital information on real world views. May launch in 2028-2030 timeframe.
So while Vision Pro itself may only sell 1-2 million units in its first year, it sets the foundation for Apple’s virion of ubiquitous spatial computing in both personal and professional contexts over the next decade.
Developers can already download the VisionOS SDK to build apps for when Vision Pro launches in February. So expect to see a variety of immersive games, communication tools, creative apps, enterprise programs, and more arrive in the Vision Store in tandem with the headset itself.
For Apple, this represents both a new frontier of human-technology interaction as well as a multi-billion dollar revenue opportunity. And for consumers and professionals alike, it promises to take the capabilities of computing to literally new dimensions by integrating the digital and physical worlds.
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