If you’ve been eyeing the Apple Vision Pro and have the cash to burn, your wait is almost over. Apple has announced US availability and release dates for its groundbreaking AR/VR device, with pre-orders for the Vision Pro slated to kick off on January 19 and the headset to be available starting February 2 at Apple Stores across the US. Although Apple hasn’t confirmed the Australian release date, we can expect the headset to be available sometime in late March or April, a couple of months after the US launch.
With a hefty starting price of USD$3,499 (AUD$5,290), the Vision Pro took centre stage at last year’s WWDC event, marking Apple’s first foray into an entirely new product category since the groundbreaking Apple Watch in 2014. The base model of the Vision Pro has 256GB of onboard storage and comes bundled with the following accessories:
- Solo Knit Band and Dual Loop Band
- A light seal and two light seal cushions
- Apple Vision Pro cover
- Polishing cloth
- USB-C charging cable and USB-C power adapter
The headset is being billed as Apple’s “first spatial computer”, allowing users to “scale beyond the boundaries of a traditional display”. It boasts an impressive 4K display for each eye and allows seamless switching between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), using a sleek dial located on the headset’s side. Powering the Vision Pro is a dynamic dual-chip setup, featuring Apple’s powerful M2 chip alongside the innovative R1 chip.
The new R1 chip takes charge of processing data from the built-in sensors, cameras, and microphones, ensuring a seamless and immersive experience. What sets these headsets apart, though, is the ability to control them with just your hands, eyes, and voice, eliminating the need for a traditional controller. For productivity or gaming, you can connect a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad or a controller.
Underneath it all, the headset runs on the new operating system, visionOS. Described as a “three-dimensional interface that frees apps from the boundaries of a display,” visionOS is a brand-new framework designed to meet the low-latency demands of spatial computing. Apple says that the OS dynamically adjusts to natural light conditions, generating shadows that enhance users’ perception of scale and distance. The integration with visionOS also unlocks access to a rich library of 3D titles via the Apple TV app, offering an immersive and expansive entertainment experience.
Then there’s also Environments, a feature that’ll help users “focus or reduce clutter in busy spaces.” As per Apple, “With Environments, a user’s world can grow beyond the dimensions of a physical room. With a twist of the Digital Crown, users can control how present or immersed they are in an environment.”
During the release date and availability announcement for the Apple Vision Pro, Tim Cook said, “The era of spatial computing has arrived. Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created. Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we connect, create, and explore.”
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