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Apple made a groundbreaking announcement at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference with the launch of Apple Vision Pro, their first-ever mixed reality headset. Packed with cutting-edge features, this device combines high-resolution displays with EyeSight technology to provide wearers with an immersive experience while maintaining awareness of their surroundings. With support for eye and voice control and an array of sensors and cameras, it seamlessly integrates augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities. Powered by a wearable battery pack, the Apple Vision Pro sets a new standard in mixed-reality technology.
Sporting a sleek design reminiscent of ski goggles, the Apple Vision Pro features an aluminum frame, a glass display, and a comfortable fabric-lined mask and strap to secure it to the wearer’s face. The discreet battery pack is connected via a cable on the left side of the device.
“Just as Mac introduced us to personal computing and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro will introduce us to spatial computing. This marks the beginning of a new journey that will bring a new dimension to powerful, personal technology,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the event.
Apple’s innovative eye-tracking technology lets users control the device by simply looking at the graphical elements on the display. They can also interact through finger taps and voice commands, effortlessly controlling objects and entering text displayed in front of their eyes.
Apple’s EyeSight technology allows wearers to see their environment by using camera sensors around the device. AR mode even displays the wearer’s eyes to others nearby. With a dial on the right edge, users can effortlessly switch between AR and VR modes and access specific applications tailored to the headset.
The Apple Vision Pro boasts impressive specifications, including dual Micro OLED displays with a combined 23 million pixels, ensuring crisp and detailed visuals across the wearer’s entire field of view. With a custom 3D lens and foveated rendering technology, the device delivers the highest resolution image precisely where the wearer looks.
The comprehensive sensor array comprises high-speed main cameras, downward cameras for hand tracking, IR illuminators, side cameras, a LiDAR scanner, and TrueDepth cameras for a thorough understanding of the surrounding space. Additionally, two individually amplified drivers provide personalized Spatial Audio, enhancing the immersive experience.
Powered by Apple’s formidable M2 chip, the Apple Vision Pro also features a new R1 chip based on the M2 architecture. With 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones, the headset ensures top-notch performance. Apple claims an impressive image display time of just 12ms. Wearers with spectacles can utilize Zeiss optical inserts to use the headset comfortably.
The Apple Vision Pro introduces the Optic ID feature, allowing users to authenticate by scanning their iris. Similar to Apple’s other devices, verification takes place securely on the headset’s processor’s Secure Enclave. The device also leverages its sensors to create a lifelike representation of the user’s face, known as a “Persona,” which can be displayed during FaceTime calls without the headset.
Running on the new visionOS operating system, the Apple Vision Pro boasts a real-time subsystem, a spatial audio engine, a multi-app 3D engine, and a foveated renderer, optimizing performance. In addition, the operating system seamlessly integrates with iOS and spatial frameworks, ensuring compatibility and a seamless user experience.
Apple has partnered with Disney to offer AR-enhanced content from the day the headset is released. They have also announced support for popular applications such as Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Adobe Lightroom, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Microsoft Teams. In addition, by collaborating with Unity, Apple enables native support for these apps on the headset, expanding its functionality and versatility.
Apple expects the Vision Pro to play a significant role in the expanding AR and VR markets. It represents the first headset from a major player to support both AR and VR, and it offers a range of appealing features for consumers and businesses alike.