Apple Ventures into Virtual Reality with $3,500 Headset – The Morning Call

MICHAEL LIEDTKE (AP Technology Writer)

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple announced Monday a long-rumored headset that puts users between the virtual and real worlds, after others have failed to capture the public’s imagination. , tested the ability of technology trendsetters to popularize devices with new features. .

After years of speculation, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at the company’s annual developer conference on its park-like campus in Cupertino, Calif., that it would be dubbed the “Vision Pro.” Praising the arrival of this sleek pair of goggles, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said: helped me with the design. The device can switch between virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). AR projects digital images while the user sees objects in the real world.

“This is the beginning of a journey that brings a new dimension to powerful personal technology,” Cook told the audience.

Apple executives provided an extensive preview of the headset’s features during the final half hour of Monday’s event, but consumers will have to wait until they’re ready to pay a hefty price to get their hands on the device and activate it. must. The Vision Pro will retail for $3,500 when it hits stores early next year.

Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said, “It’s great technology, but it’s almost a joke.” “It was like the beginning of a very long journey.”

Rather than simply positioning goggles as another way to explore virtual worlds or watch more immersive entertainment, Apple has integrated the Vision Pro with ultra-high-definition televisions, surround sound systems, high-end cameras, and the equivalent of owning a modern device. An art camera bundled into a single piece of hardware.

“We think it’s unreasonable, even for Apple, to assume that consumers will pay the same amount for an AR/VR headset as they would for a combination of these products,” David said. Prosecutor Tom Forte said in investigative notes Monday.

Despite such skepticism, the headset hasn’t always been the first to venture into development of a particular device, but this headset is a testament to Apple’s legendary release of game-changing tech. It could be a new milestone.

Apple’s breakthrough pedigree dates back to 1984, when Mr. Jobs in a bow tie peddled the original Mac. This tradition has continued with the 2001 iPod, 2007 iPhone, 2010 iPad, 2014 Apple Watch and his 2016 AirPods.

The company emphasized that the years it spent developing the Vision Pro leveraged decades of product design, which included more than 5,000 different patents, Apple said.

The headset is equipped with 12 cameras, 6 microphones and various sensors, allowing users to control the headset and various apps with just eye and hand gestures. Apple said the experience didn’t cause the recurring nausea and headaches seen with similar devices in the past. The company has also developed technology that creates a three-dimensional digital version of each user to view during video conferencing.

Vision Pro doesn’t require a cumbersome physical controller, but you do need to plug your goggles into a power outlet or plug a portable battery into your headset. This may make it less attractive for some users.

“They’ve worked as hard as current technology allows to integrate this headset into the real world, but it still turns out to be a headset,” said Insider Intelligence analyst Yolly Wurmser. No,” he said, adding that the announcement was “a pretty shocking presentation” nonetheless.

Still, analysts don’t expect the Vision Pro to be an instant hit. That’s mainly because it’s expensive, but also because most people haven’t yet found a compelling reason to wrap something around their face for a long time.

If the Vision Pro proves to be a niche product, Apple is looking to sell headsets and glasses with technology that can push people into artificial worlds or project digital images onto landscapes. It will be in the same situation as other big tech companies and start-ups. And what you actually see is a form known as “augmented reality.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg describes these alternate three-dimensional realities as the “metaverse.” It’s a maniacal concept that he’s renaming his networking company Social to his Meta Platforms in 2021 and is trying to push into the mainstream by pouring billions of dollars into improving virtual technology.

But while much of the Metaverse remains a digital ghost town, Meta’s virtual reality headset, the Quest, has so far sold best in a category that has primarily appealed to video game players looking for a more immersive experience. It is a device with Cook and other Apple executives avoided mentioning the Metaverse in their presentation, instead describing the Vision Pro as the company’s first leap into “spatial computing.”

Responses to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality have so far been decidedly imperfect. Some gadgets that have adopted this technology have been ridiculed, most notably Google’s Internet-connected glasses, which launched more than a decade ago.

Microsoft also had limited success with its HoloLens mixed-reality headset in 2016, but earlier this year the software maker insisted it would continue to focus on the technology.

Magic Leap, a startup that sparked excitement with a preview of its mixed reality tech that evokes the sight of a whale breaching a gym floor, had such a hard time selling its first headset to consumers in 2018 that it has since gone on to do so. We have shifted our focus to: Industrial, medical and emergency applications.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said Apple sold just 150,000 headsets in its first year on the market, and 1 million in its second year. I expect a set to be sold.

In comparison, Apple sells over 200 million major iPhones annually. But the iPhone wasn’t an instant sensation, and in his first year on the market, he sold less than 12 million units. Apple Ventures into Virtual Reality with $3,500 Headset – The Morning Call

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