WWDC 2023: Apple launches Vision Pro, CEO Tim Cook calls it beginning of a new computing era

Rumours have been around for a while. At WWDC 2023 Apple confirmed it. Apple on Monday launched Vision Pro, a new kind of virtual reality headset that blends virtual and real spaces. Apple CEO Tim Cook called it beginning of a new computing era.

By Javed Anwar: For a company like Apple, the pressure to “innovate” is relentless and persistent. And years after the company launched iPhone, which kickstarted the touch-screen era that we see around us, people have been beginning to ask what is next. Different companies are trying to find different answers to it. Some say it’s the crypto, a few others are now pinning their hope on AI or rather the AGI (Artificial Generative AI). Some in the past, including Mark Zuckerberg at Meta, have explored the virtual reality space. Apple on Monday joined the virtual reality space and launched Vision Pro, a new type of virtual reality headset. And not just launched it, but launched it emphasizing that Vision Pro is the beginning of a new computing era and that it will change the world in the same way its previous products like Mac, iPod and iPhone did earlier.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, as he introduced Vision Pro at WWDC 2023, said that “Vision Pro is the new type of computer” that will let its users merge reality and virtual spaces seamlessly.

In other words, Apple is not pitching the Vision Pro as just a regular virtual reality headset. Instead, the company is calling it beginning of spatial computing. And this computing, according to Apple, uses natural interface created around hands and eyes of a user. An Apple spokesperson said that “Mac used mouse, iPod brought click-wheel” while iPhone and iPad changed the world with their multi-touch interface. The Apple Vision Pro is going to be “controlled by hands and eyes.”

Like all virtual-reality headsets, users will have to wear it. This in the past has proven bothersome to users and is one of the reasons why such headsets haven’t taken off. But Apple is trying to solve the problem by improving on the design of the headset as well as through several key features, which will allow users to not just look into the virtual space but also monitor their real-world surroundings.

Apple Vision Pro possibilities

While the usage pattern and features around a new gadget like Vision Pro will evolve gradually, as immediate use case Apple believes that the Vision Pro will be a powerful entertainment and communication tool. Once a user wears it, they will be able to watch movies, play games and scroll through their photos and videos in a 3D virtual space. To showcase that this a gadget with some serious thought behind it, Apple introduced Disney CEO Bob Igor on the WWDC 2023 stage. Igor revealed that Disney Plus is already coming to Vision Pro and that its programmes would be available to users to watch in virtual spaces. In other words, there is a chance that Vision Pro users may be able to watch the next Marvel movie directly into an immersive virtual environment.

Similarly, for communication needs, the Apple Vision Pro will offer its users ability to do video calls in virtual rooms that would be more immersive and feel closer to you.

To take care of the fact that often when people are wearing a virtual headset they are cutoff from their real-world surroundings, Apple has built a feature called Eye Sight into the Vision Pro. This will use different cameras and sensors into the device to show users surroundings even when they are wearing the Vision Pro. In a demo showed by Apple, a user wearing the Vision Pro instantly saw a person enter the room on their visor and then could interact with them without taking off the gadget.

Apple Vision Pro price and hardware

The gadget, as far as its design is concerned, is made of curved glass. Inside, it has hardware that Apple has created specifically for the device. This includes R1 silicon chip, a new sound system that conducts the sound instead of directing it into ears, and a battery that powers the device for 2-hours when it is not connected to a power source. The device also uses Optic ID, which will scan retina of a user, to lock and unlock and Vision Pro. The hardware is powered by visionOS, a new operating system that Apple has created for it.

For Apple, the Vision Pro is a big bet. It believes that something like the Vision Pro is the future of computing. So far different companies have tried to crack the virtual reality headset space. HTC tried it with its Vive gadgets. Microsoft is trying it with Halo. Meta has Quest series of gadgets. Even Google tried with Google Glass. But none of them have succeeded.

Apple, however, says that its approach is different. The companies says that in the process of developing the Vision Pro it has filed around 5000 patents, highlighting that it is unlike anything that has come before it. The company’s demoes and claims do indeed hint at something special. But before we can say something definitively, we will have to wait. The Vision Pro is not yet available. Apple says that the Vision Pro will be available at a starting price of $3499 from early next year.

Rumours have been around for a while. At WWDC 2023 Apple confirmed it. Apple on Monday launched Vision Pro, a new kind of virtual reality headset that blends virtual and real spaces. Apple CEO Tim Cook called it beginning of a new computing era.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.