Apple has unveiled a mixed reality headset called the Vision Pro, its first brand new product in eight years.
The US tech giant claims the device is “the most advanced personal electronic device ever created”.
It resembles a pair of ski goggles, with a 23-megapixel glass screen overlaid on top that can be controlled by the wearer’s eyes, hands, and voice.
The Vision Pro is called “mixed reality” because it combines “virtual reality” (in which the wearer is fully immersed in the digital world) and “augmented reality” (in which digital images are superimposed on the real world).
The device, the first new product since the Apple Watch launched in 2015, blends video from the outside world with a virtual world displayed on the headset’s internal screen.
It will rival last year’s Meta Quest Pro and Quest 3, which was announced last week.
However, the $3,499 (£2,849) Vision Pro is also more expensive than the $500 (£402) Quest 3 plan.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era in computing,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the event to unveil the new devices. The company’s annual software developer conference on Monday.
“Combining digital content with the real world can unlock unprecedented experiences.”
It will be available online and in Apple Stores in the US early next year, and will come to more countries “later next year.”
The company also updated the operating systems for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.
Mixed Reactions to Mixed Reality
If virtual reality is about taking you into a completely digital world, and augmented reality is about bringing digital elements into the real world, mixed reality takes the concept a step further.
It allows people to interact with digital concepts in the real world, for example, a trainee surgeon practicing complex operations on digital patients.
But the response to virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality is varies by customer so far
Some gadgets deploying the technology have even been teased in the past.
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After bad reviews and disappointing sales, Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse pitch fails to impress customers and investorsthe price of the Quest Pro has dropped from £1,499 to £999.
Most notably, Google’s internet-connected glasses released more than a decade ago faced backlash and were subsequently pulled from the company’s shelves.
Microsoft also had limited success with HoloLens, a mixed reality headset it released in 2016, though the software maker insisted earlier this year that it remained committed to the technology.