Apple has officially disclosed the release date for its highly-anticipated Vision Pro headset, marking a pivotal product launch for the company since the debut of the Apple Watch in 2015. Priced at $3,499 (£2,749), the mixed-reality device is open for pre-orders in the United States starting mid-January, with no specific date announced for the UK debut.
The Vision Pro, introduced in June 2023 after years of circulating development rumours, aims to redefine the mixed reality landscape. Despite its innovative features, Apple has reportedly slashed its production forecasts, revising the initial estimate from one million units to 400,000 for the year 2024.
Apple has shared additional insights into the device, revealing that it will offer 256GB of storage. Noteworthy is the integration of eye-tracking technology within the headset, designed to function seamlessly with a single dominant eye, addressing the needs of individuals with limited use of both eyes.
In an attempt to set the Vision Pro apart from competing devices, Apple has advised developers to brand their apps under the term “spatial computing,” discouraging the use of traditional labels such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), or mixed reality (MR).
Accompanying the announcement, Apple launched an online trailer featuring characters from films sporting the Vision Pro, a reminiscent strategy echoing the excitement generated during the iPhone launch in 2007. While the Vision Pro holds the potential to become a lucrative revenue stream for Apple, the high price tag may pose accessibility challenges, positioning the device as a luxury item.
Having had an exclusive opportunity to experience the Vision Pro in June 2023, the repo focused on the mixed reality encounter facilitated by the headset. Characterised by its minimalist design and detached battery, the device projects digital content onto the user’s surroundings for a mixed-reality experience. The user interface, reminiscent of iPhone icons, relies on gesture control for navigation. However, Apple emphasises that the Vision Pro encountered during the trial was not a finalised product, and the no-filming policy during demonstrations prevented the documentation of any potential issues for public sharing.