Apple Vision Pro to launch February 2, pre-orders available January 19

In General XR News

January 8, 2024 – Apple has announced that its Vision Pro XR headset will soon be available. Beginning Friday, February 2, customers in the U.S will be able to purchase the Vision Pro at all Apple Store locations, as well as online. 

The Vision Pro is Apple’s revolutionary spatial computing device, which the company states will transform how people work, collaborate, connect, relive memories, and enjoy entertainment. The XR headset is able to seamlessly blend digital content with the physical world. 

An all-new App Store will provides users with access to more than 1 million compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS, as well as new experiences that take advantage of the unique capabilities of Vision Pro. Pre-orders for Apple Vision Pro begin Friday, January 19, at 5 a.m. PST.

“The era of spatial computing has arrived,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created. Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we connect, create, and explore.”

A New Operating System and User Interface for XR

Powered by visionOS, users will be able to enjoy spatial experiences controlled by what Apple states are “the most natural and intuitive inputs possible” — a user’s eyes, hands, and voice. visionOS is built on the foundation of decades of engineering innovation across Apple’s macOS, iOS, and iPadOS line of operating systems. As a result, Apple states that visionOS will deliver powerful spatial experiences, unlocking new opportunities at work and at home.

Vision Pro will feature a brand-new three-dimensional user interface and input system that is controlled entirely by a user’s eyes, hands, and voice. According to the company, intuitive gestures will allow users to interact with apps by simply looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using a virtual keyboard or dictation to type. Plus, with Siri, users can quickly open or close apps, play media, and more.

Users can also immerse themselves in Environments to help them focus or reduce clutter in busy spaces. With Environments, a user’s world can grow beyond the dimensions of a physical room. With a twist of the Digital Crown, a dial situated on the top of the headset, users can control how present or immersed they are in an environment. Environment options will include landscapes like Haleakalā, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite national parks, and even the surface of the moon.

Experiences on the Vision Pro

The Vision Pro’s three-dimensional interface removes the constraints of a traditional display, and enables apps to be arranged in any spatial configuration, effectively providing a limitless workspace for multitasking and collaboration.

Apple stated that visionOS utilizes existing developer frameworks, more than 1 million familiar apps across iOS and iPadOS are available on Apple Vision Pro and will automatically work with the device’s new input system. The headset also introduces a unique App Store for spatial computing experiences. These apps can all be arranged anywhere and scaled to the perfect size, all while allowing the user to stay present in their space.

Enhanced Entertainment

The Vision Pro features ultra-high-resolution displays that Apple states deliver more pixels than a 4K TV for each eye, enabling users to watch movies and TV shows from Apple TV+, Disney+, Max, and other services on a screen that will feel like it is 100 feet wide with support for HDR content.

On launch, users will be able to enjoy more than 150 3D titles, as well as Apple Immersive Video, a new entertainment format pioneered by Apple that puts users inside 180-degree, three-dimensional 8K recordings captured with Spatial Audio.

Gaming on the Apple Vision Pro

Gaming on the Vision Pro will include more than 250 titles on Apple Arcade, including games like NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition and Sonic Dream Team, which can be played on the aforementioned large screen. Apple noted that the device will also have support for popular game controllers. Plus, new spatial games, including Game Room, What the Golf?, and Super Fruit Ninja, will take advantage of the headset’s powerful capabilities.

Spatial Memories and FaceTime on VisionPro

Vision Pro enables users to capture and relive memories in new ways with spatial photos and videos, enhanced by Spatial Audio. The device also integrates seamlessly with iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, allowing users to relive captured moments in stunning detail. Panoramas on Vision Pro offer a life-like experience, wrapping around the user for a realistic feel.

FaceTime on Vision Pro offers a life-size, spatial experience. Users appear as their Persona, a realistic representation allowing others to see their facial expressions and hand movements in real time. This feature is also compatible with third-party videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Microsoft Teams.

Design and Performance

Apple Vision Pro represents a culmination of Apple’s expertise in high-performance product design. The headset itself consists of a compact, modular design that includes customizable components like the Light Seal, Solo Knit Band, and Dual Loop Band for a personalized fit. ZEISS Optical Inserts are also available for vision correction needs. By far the biggest drawback of the Vision Pro however is the fact that the device needs to be tethered to an external battery pack (that will provide up to 2 hours of use), or fully tethered when plugged into a power supply.

This is of course required in order to power the Vision Pro’s advanced display system, which utilizes micro-OLED technology and packs 23 million pixels into each display. Plus other features such as Spatial Audio, and high-performance eye tracking will all add to the headset’s power draw. Running the show on-device will be the M2 and R1 chips, which will provide the computing power on the device.

Privacy, Security, and Accessibility

Apple states that the Vision Pro prioritizes privacy and security with Optic ID, an iris-based authentication system. Additionally, the headset’s EyeSight feature shows visual cues of the user’s focus, enhances transparency and privacy for people on the other side of the headset. The device also includes comprehensive accessibility features like VoiceOver, Zoom, and Switch Control, all of which Apple states have been adapted and reimagined for spatial computing.

Apple Vision Pro Pricing and Availability

The Apple Vision Pro starts at USD $3,499 for the 256GB model and will be available for pre-order on January 19, or for purchase on February 2. The company’s first ever XR headset will be available at all U.S. Apple Store locations and online. ZEISS Optical Inserts are priced at USD $99 for Readers and USD $149 for Prescription models. 

For more information on the availability and features of the Apple Vision Pro, read the full announcement from Apple, here.

Image / video credit: Apple

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.