“Today marks the beginning of a new era in computing!” Apple CEO Tim Cook declared. At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference WWDC23 held in the early hours of June 6, Apple’s first head-mounted display device, Vision Pro, finally made its official debut.
This is another epoch-making product launched in the “Cook era” after the mobile computing platform iPhone released in the “Jobs era” 16 years ago. Apple says the Vision Pro, a headset that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world, marks the beginning of “spatial computing.”
AR/VR “two-in-one” spatial computing platform
“Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and the iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduced us to spatial computing.” Cook explained the significance of this head-mounted device at the press conference. Although major media and people in the industry have exposed or predicted the various parameters and configurations of the Apple headset in advance, and the results are basically the same, but the officially announced Vision Pro is still amazing.
From the outside, the Apple Vision Pro looks like a pair of ski goggles and can be controlled by eyes, gestures and voice. Although the Vision Pro is an augmented reality (AR) device, it can switch between augmented reality and full virtual reality (VR) with a single knob. Instead of using a controller, users simply gaze to navigate app icons, tap to select, swipe to scroll, or issue voice commands.
In terms of configuration, Micro OLED display technology is used to integrate 23 million pixels into two ultra-high resolution displays, each of which is the size of a postage stamp, turning any space into a personal cinema, allowing users to enjoy three-dimensional In addition, it is equipped with M2 and the new R1 two chips, and is equipped with 12 cameras, 5 sensors (including 1 lidar scanner) and 6 MEMS microphones, and an external one can make it last up to 2 hours battery. Apple claims that the headset can process sensor data in 12 milliseconds, eight times faster than the blink of an eye, which can greatly reduce vertigo.
Apple first generation of headset releases a positive signal to the XR industry
What does Apple’s first head-mounted display Vision Pro, which has been launched after seven years of hard work, mean to the consumer market and the XR industry?
“Vision Pro, as Apple’s first test, may be more useful in collecting various feedbacks and accumulating experience. The next important product may be the glasses-like virtual reality product launched in 2026. After three years of accumulation, the product is equipped with a more competitive and complete ecosystem, this can avoid the ecological shortage problems encountered by current XR products and achieve solid accumulation.” Liu Yan, director of GfK China’s science and technology business department, told the reporter of China Electronics News.
It can be seen that the official listing time of Apple Vision Pro is later than the industry’s previous prediction, and the price is also higher than the previously expected 3,000 USD. These all seem to reveal that Apple is not yet fully ready, and the first-generation headset is obviously impossible to be the pioneering work of “the debut is the pinnacle”. At the beginning of April this year, Cook said in an interview with the media that although entering AR/VR will cause doubts, Apple is not afraid of doubts and will innovate in the doubts and achieve success.
Li Chenyuan, an analyst at RUNTO, said that the repeated delays in the launch of Apple’s new products, the stocking quantity of less than 500,000 units, and the high price of 3,499 USD makes its contribution to the incremental contribution to the global market this year extremely limited. The industry can only count on Apple to build on its past history of innovation to create the best XR device and make some new changes to the fundamental problems of XR products, “accessibility and comfort.”
Looking at the entire AR/VR industry, the market has not yet ushered in a real explosive period after several ups and downs, and is currently in an “adjustment cycle”. At this time, Apple’s official entry has finally brought a positive signal to the AR/VR industry.
“As one of the most important new products in 2023, Apple’s official entry will accelerate the evolution of AR/VR devices from entertainment tools to productivity tools.” IDC China senior analyst Zhao Siquan pointed out to reporters that the current global and Chinese AR/VR market shipments Both have declined. Manufacturers’ new product launches, marketing actions, and the pace of new content online have slowed down. The yield rate and mass production time of new display and interactive technology components are still uncertain. There are still major technical problems in the industry that need to be overcome. solve.
The release of Apple Vision Pro this time has important guiding significance for the entire AR/VR industry in terms of product hardware features, content ecological upgrade direction, and new technology development of the industrial chain, but it is difficult to achieve leapfrog development of the industry with a new generation of products.
Next, in addition to the product itself, ecology is the key. Liu Yan emphasized that in addition to product hardware iterations and prices, the future development depends on the ecology. Only when MR is more and more used in video, film and television, games, shopping and other consumer scenarios can it develop better.