Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 (WWDC): Rumors turned out to be true and Apple is really launching mixed reality glasses. The headset offers 2 hours of running time and can be switched between augmented and virtual reality using the rotary wheel. The gadget should be available from 2024 (in the USA for the time being) for a starting price of about $3,500.
12 cameras, 5 sensors, and 6 microphones – the “Vision Pro” glasses are packed up with sensors. With LIDAR, infrared and co., the space around the wearer is measured in real-time so that the glasses can recognize both the gestures of the hands for control, people in the area, and the environment itself. Because “Vision Pro” not only offers VR internally but can also let the device see the environment – and then enrich it with digital content in the sense of augmented reality.
Apple calls this “EyeSight”. The trick: The glasses are not transparent, but the sensors on the outside translate the environment inwards and back again. The headset also has a display on the outside so that the wearer’s eye area can be shown – and the other people nearby can see the eyes of the “Vision Pro” user and do not have to have the impression that someone is looking at them sealed off inside.
For business and for parties
What are you supposed to do with this thing now? Business and party alike, in short. There will be work software such as Excel or video calls from Microsoft, Zoom, or Cisco, and entertaining content from Disney and gaming providers. In any case, in combination with game controllers, the user will be able to set up a television screen of any size in virtual space and then run games and films there (in 2D). Of course, there should also be 3D games, Apple promises more than a hundred titles at the start. In order for everything to run smoothly, two chips are installed – the powerful M2 processor to calculate the content and the new R1 chip to record a large amount of sensor data.
Oh! By the way, there is also a new ID technology: The built-in Zeiss lenses scan the owner’s iris, and the device is only activated for him. The display behind it, which sits in front of the eyes, comes with 23 million pixels on an area the size of two postage stamps and can display a higher resolution than 4K. There is also an operating system of its own: visionOS can also play back adapted iPhone and iPad apps.
“New Era of Computing”
Is it the next big revolution after the iPhone? According to Apple’s long presentation, which was followed by more than a million people in the live stream: Yes.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era in computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “
Just as the Mac introduced personal computing and the iPhone introduced mobile computing, the Apple Vision Pro introduced spatial computing. Building on decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything else with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations. It opens up incredible experiences for our users and exciting new possibilities for our developers.
Developers are the keyword here – they now have to be convinced that they are creating the best possible content for the MR glasses. Otherwise, Apple runs the risk of suffering the same fate as Google or Microsoft, who also tried AR/VR/MR glasses: expensive hardware meets little software.