(Cupertino) Apple on Monday presented its first “mixed” (virtual and augmented) reality headset, dubbed “Vision Pro”, a ground where the iPhone maker had been waiting for years, currently dominated by its neighbor Meta (Facebook , Instagram, Quest).
“Blending digital content with the real world will create new experiences like we’ve never seen,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said before unveiling this “revolutionary new product” with the usual emphasis of the American technology giant.
He did not immediately reveal the price of the new device. Before the official presentation, several experts estimated it at around 3000 dollars.
The new headset – which isn’t wireless, unlike recent models from Quest (Meta) or Vive (HTC) – was launched at WWDC, Apple’s annual conference for developers.
Users will be able to go into parallel universes (meditative landscapes, personal videos, video games, videoconferences, etc.) and choose the degree of immersion, thanks to a button that allows adjustment of the augmented reality screen (superimposition of virtual elements on reality) to virtual reality (full immersion).
“Vision Pro is a new type of computer that augments reality by seamlessly blending the real and the digital,” summarized Tim Cook.
“Apple was hoping to release a product that was more like a pair of glasses than a gaming headset,” Insider Intelligence analyst Yory Wurmser recently commented.
“But it looks like they’re going to unveil something bigger (and certainly more expensive), because they want enthusiasts and engineers to use it and start building an ecosystem of dedicated apps,” before design lighter and cheaper devices for the general public, he said.
Virtual reality is currently dominated by Meta – its Quest brand headsets accounted for more than 80% of the market at the end of 2022, according to the firm Counterpoint.
On Thursday, group boss Mark Zuckerberg launched a new device, the Quest 3, the “first consumer headset with high-resolution color mixed reality,” which will start at $500 in the United States at autumn.
At the end of 2021, Facebook became Meta with the idea of becoming a metaverse company, described by Mark Zuckerberg as the future of the internet, after the web and mobile.
But the efforts of the social media giant have so far failed to result in significant mainstream adoption.