Washintion: Apple Inc.'s first major new product in nine years arrives on Feb. 2, setting the stage for what the company hopes is a new era after the iPhone.
The Apple Vision Pro "- a $3,499 mixed-reality headset "- goes on sale in the US on that day, according to a statement Monday. It will be available to preorder on the company's website starting at 5 a.m. California time on Jan. 19, Apple said in the announcement, which came just ahead of the CES technology conference in Las Vegas.
The device melds virtual and augmented reality "- an experience Apple calls spatial computing. It's designed for more immersive FaceTime chats, gaming, video and productivity apps. The Vision Pro, first unveiled in June, marks the first new hardware category for Apple since the company introduced its smartwatch in 2015.
"The era of spatial computing has arrived," Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in the statement. "Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created. Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we connect, create and explore."
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The new product vaults Apple into competition with Meta Platforms Inc. and other makers of augmented and virtual reality headsets. Apple's device is far pricier than rival models, but includes higher-end features like dual 4K displays and Mac-grade processors.
Bloomberg News first reported that the device would launch by February. Apple will push users to buy the product at Apple retail stores since it requires a precise fitting for proper operation. The company also said Monday that it would charge $99 and $150 for prescription lens inserts.
This week, Apple is hosting hundreds of retail store employees at its headquarters to train them on how to use and sell the device.
The device has a glass front, an aluminum frame, five sensors, 12 cameras, a display for each eye, and a computer that is cooled with a fan.
Smaller than a scuba diving mask, Vision Pro will run mainly by being plugged into a power source in a clear effort to preserve a sleek design.
A cord-attached battery pack, which would slide into your pocket, would work for no more than two hours.
Vision Pro optics are tuned to each wearer’s eyes, freeing them from eyeglasses during use and also providing optical identification to verify user identity, the demonstration showed.
While wearing Vision Pro one can see who is nearby, and even look them in the eyes and have a conversation.
Apple said that over 100 video games would be available from the day of release.