Apple’s New Unveil: The Vision Pro
By: Victor Zhang
On June 5th at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, CA, Apple unveiled the new Vision Pro. The Vision Pro is a futuristic-looking AR-VR combined headset.
The Vision Pro, priced at $3,499, is quite expensive for the average buyer. According to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average worker would need around three full weeks of work to afford the current price of the vision pro. While Apple has plans to release a cheaper model, it will not be available until 2025.
The price, however, can be somewhat justified when you take a closer look. Not only does Apple use only aluminum and glass, there are 3 displays, one on the outside and two inside. Each display on the inside contains 11.5 million pixels, combined for a total of 23 million pixels.
According to SNAPSHOT, “an 8K image is around 35 megapixels, which is said to provide close to the maximum definition perceivable by human vision.” Especially taking into consideration that an 8K TV can cost around 15 thousand, the Vision Pro doesn’t seem too expensive relatively. Furthermore, CNET says, “Years of research and development are also likely reflected in Vision Pro's price. Since it's an entirely different type of computer compared to the Mac, iPhone or iPad, Apple had to develop new technologies such as the R1 chip, which processes data from the headset's 12 cameras, five sensors and six microphones. Mike Rockwell, vice president of Apple's technology development group, even said during the WWDC keynote that the company filed over 5,000 patents during Vision Pro's development.”
The headset runs on a portable power bank connected by a cord that goes over the ear. The cord looks like a dangling string from the front, as the power bank is inside a pocket. From the side it looks about the same. It doesn’t look too out of place, given that the color of the cable looks similar to the color of the headset. The cord makes people suspect that Apple is using an external battery because integrating the battery pack would make the device both heavier and more expensive. Additionally, as of right now, it is hard for us to fit a battery that would last long in the Vision Pro, so it will need constant recharging.
The Vision Pro uses two computing chips of the Apple Silicon line: the M2, and the all-new R1 chip. The M2 chip, the more powerful of the two, runs and handles visionOS, the operating system, and other programs. The R1 processor is brand new and specifically developed to analyze the information provided by the numerous sensors, which include 12 regular cameras, six independent IR cameras, the LiDAR scanner, the accelerometer, the gyroscope, and multiple microphones.
However, there are some cons of the headset. For example, the Vision Pro has no space for glasses, and while they have partnered with Zeiss to make lenses that magnetically attach, the Zeiss lenses cost around $300-$600 for a pair. Another con could be that the external battery can be a hassle to carry and charge, and as this is a first for Apple, there will be a lot of improvements Apple will have to make before the Vision Pro is perfected.
Overall, the Vision Pro is a very futuristic device that has a very high potential due to all the cameras and sensors. The most likely thing holding it back from success is probably the insanely high price, even for Apple.