In a significant hardware launch event— the first in nearly a decade, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has introduced an augmented reality (AR) headset known as the Apple Vision Pro. The device, according to CEO Tim Cook, offers a blend of real-world and virtual experiences. Other updates included the unveiling of the latest iPhone operating system, iOS17, as well as MacBook Air enhancements.
The Apple Vision Pro, which has a battery life of two hours, is slated for release in the US in early 2024. At a price of $3,499, it’s a more expensive option compared to existing virtual reality (VR) headsets, such as the $449 Quest from Meta.
Aesthetically distinct from other VR headsets on the market, the Apple Vision Pro resembles ski goggles more closely. It uses augmented reality to superimpose virtual objects in the user’s surrounding environment, creating a mix of reality and virtual reality viewed through a screen. The headset enables users to perceive, interact with, and hear digital content as if it existed in their physical environment. Interaction with the device is through a combination of voice, eye movements, and hand gestures.
This launch comes on the heels of new VR headset releases by Meta and Lenovo, although their versions do not incorporate the AR feature of overlaying virtual objects onto the real world view. Despite significant investments in mixed reality by companies like Meta, the sector currently faces challenges, as highlighted by a 54% dip in global headset sales last year, according to the International Data Corporation.
Alongside the Vision Pro, Apple announced iOS17, the latest iteration of its iPhone operating system. Key updates include “contact posters”, which display an image of the caller during a call, and “live voicemail” providing real-time transcriptions of voicemails. This transcription feature also extends to audio messages left through Apple Messages. Moreover, Apple has integrated a Check-In system designed to automatically notify selected contacts when the user arrives home, or if their journey is significantly delayed. iOS17 will be available in Autumn 2023.
Information for this briefing was found via Apple and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.