Apple Reveals Vision Pro Augmented Reality Headset

The tech giant’s first major new device launch in years will utilize eyes and hands in lieu of traditional controllers

Apple Vision Pro headset
Apple Vision Pro

Apple unveiled its highly reported mixed-reality headset, “Apple Vision Pro,” on Monday at the Worldwide Developer Conference in Cupertino, California.

Controlled by eyes, hands and voice, it’ll projects apps in front of you, into the real world. The headset allows for video calling, playing games on a massive virtual screen and more.

Billed as introducing Apple’s vision of “spatial computing,” it employs a three-dimensional interface that uses your real-world surroundings as the backdrop for apps and activities. Apps will cast shadows against the real world to help gauge depth and placement. The headset will rely on sight, verbal commands, and finger inputs, with no controller required.

Another major distinguishing feature of the headset will be its transparent design, wherein people can see your eyes while you wear the device. Typically, eyes are blocked off while wearing such headsets, but this one was built to keep inclusivity and a connection to the real world at the forefront of its design.

Disney CEO Bob Iger made an appearance during Vision Pro’s reveal to announce that Disney+ will be available on the new AR platform, allowing consumers to experience content in a whole new way.

Apple’s Vision Pro, which will utilize spatial operating system visionOS for its functions, was advertised as placing an emphasis on privacy and will not report eye-tracking data to Apple. There will also be a visual indicator present to alert others when a headset user is capturing photo or video data.

Vision Pro starts at $3,499 (U.S.) and will be available next year.

The device has been rumored for some time, with Bloomberg reporting Apple’s been spending over $1 billion per year to get the product out the door. It’s aiming to be a technological jump akin to the introduction of the iPhone but for the mixed-reality space. Other innovators in the mixed reality space include Microsoft and the HoloLens device, which has set the bar for specialist-grade AR headsets, offering advanced tools to interface between the real world and virtual projections.