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Definition: Apple Vision Pro

Apple's "spatial computing" headset, which provides both virtual reality and augmented reality. Powered by the VisionOS operating system and introduced in 2024, Apple Vision Pro is a high-end system that retails for $3,499. At launch, more than 600 apps and arcade games were available.

Operation of the unit is by hand and eye movements as well as voice; there are no handheld controllers. Using multiple cameras, the Vision Pro switches from total immersion virtual reality to augmented reality, enabling wearers to view their environment.

Vision Pro does not support eyeglasses, requiring wearers to purchase inserts with prescriptions. Powered by Apple's M2 chip, an external battery pack keeps the headset running for two hours. For longer sessions, extra battery packs are required.

Additional cost for prescription lenses, storage greater than 256GB, two-year damage warranty, protective case, spare battery and holder can add more than a thousand dollars. Although enthusiasts indeed rave about the product, curious people have bought and returned it within the two-week trial period.

From VR, AR and XR to Spatial Computing
Apple encourages its developers to use the term "spatial computing" rather than virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR). Starting with iOS 17.2, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can create 3D videos for the headset. See iPhone 15.

FaceTiming, Travel Mode and EyeSight
When FaceTiming, Vision Pro simulates the user's eye, hand and face movements to the other party to provide a realistic in-person experience. A travel mode cuts down the required hand gestures; for example, when cramped in a coach seat on a plane. In order to make the system friendlier to everyone else in the room, the EyeSight option displays the user's eyes on front-facing screens as if wearing clear goggles. See spatial computing, virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and Meta Quest.

Bring the Internet to Life
Vision Pro creates a gigantic display screen for the user, and the resolution is exceptional, packing 64 pixels into the same space as one pixel in an iPhone. Up to 1TB of storage is available. (Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.)