Apple has revealed an augmented reality headset that has been rumored to be highly anticipated, Apple Vision Pro, the first major hardware release in more than 10 years.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the new headset “seamlessly blends real life and its virtual counterpart”.
The tech company also revealed its newest iPhone operating system along with new updates for MacBook Air.
The headset comes with a two-hour battery life and costs just $3499 (PS2,849) and is expected to launch in the first quarter of this year US.
The price is significantly higher than the VR headsets that are available. This week Meta unveiled its Quest price of $449.
Apple has not spoken much about generative artificial intelligence, the buzzy technology that’s the buzzword in Silicon Valley.
The price of the company’s shares dropped slightly after the announcement, which was made during a developer’s gathering in Apple Park, the company’s headquarters located situated in Cupertino, California.
The BBC is one of the media outlets attending the event, but it has yet to test the new technology.
Apple Vision Pro looks different from other headsets in the market and it is more like skiing goggles rather than a virtual reality headset.
Apple has used the term “augmented real-world” to describe the new gadget.
Augmented reality, sometimes referred to as mixed reality overlays virtual objects around us. It allows users to combine reality and virtual reality through a display.
Users can use apps, stream movies, and even write documents on a virtual platform. However, to date, there’s no evidence of a huge market for this type of wearable technology.
Hartley Charlton, senior editor of MacRumors was not sure what the headset’s price could make an impact on the general public.
“It isn’t going to appeal to the majority of users initially because of its price and the immediate issues in its first generation,” He declared, “such as its separate battery pack with wires.”
But he also said Apple has a history of “overcoming the doubts” regarding the latest gadgets and has always encouraged users to “part of their money to purchase a new device to their arsenal”.
In his pitch to sell the headset in his sales pitch, Mr. Cook stated that the headset lets users “see and hear, as well as be a part of digital media exactly as you would in your real world”.
It’s controlled with the use of your eyes, hands, and your voice. For instance, press your fingers together to select and then use them to move to scroll.
The announcement comes just a month before Meta and Lenovo announced the release of new versions of their virtual reality headsets, which do not add objects to a picture that is real.
Meta has also made investments in mixed reality, but currently, the industry is in trouble.
The headset market suffered an increase of 54% in sales globally in the last year, as per the International Data Corporation.
The last major hardware Apple released included the Apple Watch device in the year 2015.
Thomas Husson, of Forrester Research Thomas Husson of Forrester Research BBC News it may take some time for Apple’s brand new headset to gain traction.
“The general AR/VR market has been overhyped in recent years, especially with the metaverse and this kind of experience,” the author said. “That’s the reason I believe it’ll require a bit longer.
“Having mentioned that I’d told you ten decades ago that someone was willing to pay nearly $2,000 for a phone, I’m not sure that many would have believed they’d be willing to pay that amount.”
Apart from announcements about the Vision Pro announcement, Apple also announced iOS17 which is the most recent version of their iPhone operating system.
The latest updates include “contact posters” – – a photo or photo of you that appears on someone’s phone when they call – as well as “live voicemail” that provides the real-time transcription of messages left for you.
This transcription can also be applied to audio messages sent using Apple Messages.
Furthermore, Apple has launched a feature known as Check-In. It will notify your family or friend that you’ve returned home.
If your travels are substantially delayed, it is able to use the potential to notify people that you haven’t returned safely to your home yet.
This new version of the operating system is expected to be released in the autumn of 2023.