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Apple Opts for AR over VR at WWDC

Officially named Apple Vision Pro, Apple has spent years quietly developing the product, and the fact that we’re getting a preview now is a strong indication that Apple thinks both the product and the timing are right — ridiculous charging point on the Apple Mouse excluded, Apple rarely gets these things wrong.

There have been several false starts for VR/​AR headsets. Google Glass was officially retired in March, and HTC’s Vive makes you look, and feel, like a Borg. Many people will see Apple’s entrance into the market as a saturation point. What is more significant is that thanks to Apple, Augmented Reality appears to have won out over nausea-inducing Virtual Reality.

With sales of VR/​AR headsets declining by over 50% last year, the prospect of a new headset from Apple arriving in six months is unlikely to bolster sales of other brands.

Vision Pro will use eye-tracking, voice, and hand gestures for control. The display packs more pixels than a 4k TV. In addition, 12 different cameras will be able to record a real-life event, so you can relive it over and over again — cue thousands of Apple fans clinging desperately to their expensive new headsets as they pack onto thrill rides. And speaking of theme parks, Disney+ is onboard from day one, so you can watch the Mandalorian while you queue for Galaxy’s Edge — provided the queue doesn’t last longer than Vision Pro’s 2‑hour battery life.

The last device to be launched that had this much potential to transform our world was the iPhone — which didn’t invent the mobile web, but certainly set the benchmark for our expectations.

Apple also announced iOS17, a new 15-inch MacBook Air, MacOS Sonoma, and a few other things. But frankly, if you can’t strap it to your head, no one’s interested.

The Vision Pro headset will cost $3.5k and will be available in Q1 2024.

Ben Moss

Ben Moss is Senior Editor at WebdesignerDepot. He’s designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. One of these days he’ll run a sub-4hr marathon. Say hi on Twitter.

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