Apple has unveiled its new headset, an augmented reality device that the company believes will be the future of computing.
- The Vision Pro headset has a hefty $3,499 price tag and represents more than seven years of development.
- It’s the first time Apple has launched an entirely new product category since 2015, and it could be one of the company’s riskiest ventures yet, Bloomberg reports.
- Unlike other headsets on the market, Apple highlighted the Vision Pro’s practical application in everyday situations ranging from work to entertainment to gaming.
- Apple’s Vision Pro is an attempt for the company to define the still new but growing virtual and augmented reality industry.
Why it’s news
Unlike the other times Apple has launched a new product—like with the iPhone or Apple Watch—the company is stepping into a market that consumers do not seem excited about. Other augmented or virtual reality headsets have largely been targeted at gaming audiences but have not been met with much success.
Not only is Apple breaking into a market that has relatively little consumer excitement surrounding it, but the headset comes with a significant price tag. While seven years of development and new groundbreaking technology may justify the price, convincing consumers to pay it will be another story.
Apple’s products have always redefined the markets they have entered.
“So in the same way that Mac introduced us to personal computing and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro will introduce us to spatial computing,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the product launch.
The Vision Pro aims not just to be the best in its market but to redefine how users interact with the world. By mixing augmented and virtual reality, users can be fully immersed in the technology.
“It’s the first Apple product you look through and not at,” Cook says.
Investors showed their skepticism about the headset. On Monday, Apple’s shares rose near record levels in anticipation of the company’s announcements. But after market close in New York that same day, shares were down 0.8% at $179.58. By the end of the week, they had risen only slightly to $180.57.
The Vision Pro may have more to offer than the competition, but Apple’s marketing team may have their work cut out for them, Bloomberg reports. Competitors’ models only cost a few hundred dollars, however, they do not offer nearly as many features.
For example, the EyeSight feature projects an image of the user’s eyes so people around them can see whether or not they have a user’s attention. Users will also be able to see people nearby, allowing them to maintain an awareness outside of the virtual world they are working in.
Apple’s main competition for the headset will be Meta Platforms. The Facebook parent company already commands 81% of the virtual reality headset market, Bloomberg reports. Apple plans to sell 900,000 units in its first year.