What the Tech: Apple plans new augmented reality headset
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Apple unveiled several new products at its WWDC spring event Monday, including a new 15-inch iPad Pro, a Mac Studio small desktop computer, and updates to iOS for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, all coming soon.
Apple fans paying attention ahead of time wanted to see the ‘one more thing’. Apple has been working on a virtual or augmented reality headset for years.
And now we know what it’s going to look like and what it’s going to do. Apple calls its Vision Pro its most ambitious product ever, and at the price tag, it may also be its riskiest.
In its announcement, Apple never called the Vision Pro a virtual reality headset but rather a headset computer and augmented reality headset, which means you can still see your surroundings while you use it.
The emphasis is on productivity and entertainment rather than gaming. Apple said the Vision Pro allows people to see their computer on a large screen.
“Your surroundings become an infinite canvas,” Apple CEO Tim Cook explained. “Use your apps anywhere and make them any size you want.”
A video demonstrated how people can see multiple screens in 4K by turning their heads.
The screens appear to float in the room. It showed a man wearing a headset walking through the office. Checking email, reading articles, and attending virtual meetings.
It also showed how the Vision Pro allows users to watch movies immersed in a theater-like setting and join Facetime calls with others popping up in the room life-sized. No camera will be facing the user, so how do others on the call see you?
This is where it gets amazing, if not a little weird.
The headset scans your face and movements ahead of time and then creates a visual representation of your hands and facial movement.
At least in the video demonstration, it appears very lifelike. There are no controllers, and users will be able to click icons and control the computer using only their eyes and fingers.
Unlike virtual reality headsets such as Meta’s Occulus, others in the room will be able to see the eyes of the person wearing the headset. Virtual reality has been around for years and has yet to gain a massive audience outside of video gamers.
Headsets are uncomfortable, battery life isn’t good enough to watch a long movie. Can Apple do what other companies haven’t when it comes to headsets? Apple hasn’t had many product failures.
The iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, are all huge success stories, so maybe the Vision Pro will succeed, but It may be difficult to gain a large user base with the price tag of the Vision Pro starting at $3,500.
Apple says it will be released sometime in 2024.
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.