Apple Vision Pro
The introduction of Vision Pro will propel Apple into an entirely new product category Image Credit: Apple

Apple is set to unveil its cutting-edge Vision Pro mixed reality headset in January. The development follows the tech major’s announcement at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 (WWDC 2023).

And it is expected to be a pricey deal (expected to be over Dh12,000), prompting tech watchers to describe the device as Apple’s “most important product of 2024”.

Initially enthusiasts were left uncertain about its release date, with Apple vaguely mentioning an ‘early next year’ launch timeline but there have been reports of an eminent launch in recent days.

The era of spatial computing is here, where digital content blends seamlessly with your physical space Apple

Latest reports now indicate that the Vision Pro headset is undergoing accelerated production in China, with units anticipated to be ready for shipment as early as this month. Market analysts predict that Apple could dispatch up to 500,000 units in 2024, with mass shipping commencing by the first week of January.

Positioned as Apple’s priciest offering to date, the ‘spatial computer’ of the Vision Pro allows users to engage with a virtual user interface seamlessly integrated into the real world.

Vision Pro is Apple's first ever spatial operating system


Fusion of VR and AR

Powered by visionOS, the device enables control through user’s eyes, hands, and voice, featuring an ultra-high-resolution dual display system. Beyond entertainment, the headset is designed for professional use.

Upon release, the Vision Pro will prioritise US customers in its initial roll-out, followed by a broader global release. The device is expected to come with its App Store, offering a plethora of applications for users to explore.

The innovative product marks Apple’s first foray into a new category since the introduction of smartwatches in 2015, placing the company under the spotlight as it ventures into mixed reality — a fusion of virtual and augmented reality.

Despite Meta Platforms Inc. leading the market, Apple aims to capture consumer interest in this still-nascent concept.

Per media reports, the Vision Pro offers flexibility in usage, allowing connection to a power source or an external battery pack for an untethered experience.

What is spatial computing?
Spatial computing involves the use of physical space as a key element in the interaction between the user and the computer. It can include technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), where digital information is overlaid onto the physical world and where users can interact with digital elements in a physical space.

Redefining tech landscape

Beyond selling the device to consumers, Apple looks to target two key areas: corporate customers and schools.

“There’s so much more to come,” Apple said in its note to developers Wednesday. “And we can’t wait to see what the next year brings.”

As Apple embarks on this groundbreaking venture, the success of the Vision Pro is poised to redefine the landscape of mixed reality technology.