There we go folks, the Apple Vision Pro is going to be released on 2nd February 2024. 

Apple’s announcement was timed perfectly to steal the thunder from CES, the annual tech expo in Las Vegas where competitors get to show off upcoming releases.

After months of to-ing and fro-ing, Apple has finally confirmed what we had been expecting for weeks. Rumours had placed the release date at late January or early February, the latter of which has turned out to be most accurate.

Pre-orders will be available from 5 am PST on 19th January.

How Much Will Apple Vision Pro Cost

Vision Pro will retail for $3,499. This price is for the base model that comes with 256GB of storage.

If you need help with your sight, Apple is offering ZEISS Optical Inserts for readers at $99 and prescription at $149.

There are also unconfirmed rumours that Apple’s next headset release will be a more affordable model. This will sit somewhere between $1500 and $2500. So, that word ‘affordable’ shouldn’t be taken too literally!

How To Buy Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro is only available in the USA at the moment, meaning you can only buy one from inside the country. All Apple Stores in the USA are stocking Vision Pro. You can also pick one up through the online US Apple Store.

They are not available to order online from other countries.

For those outside of the USA, you will either have to wait for a worldwide release or enter the USA to buy one. When you buy Vision Pro, you will have to attend an in-store fitting appointment to configure the front-facing ‘Persona’ screen and to ensure the headset fits correctly.

What Can Vision Pro Do?

Vision Pro is so exciting because of how it proposes to revolutionise virtual reality. In actuality, Vision Pro isn’t virtual reality but instead mixed reality. It blends the real and virtual worlds so that users can be present in both.

This means you can do things like cook with a recipe displayed on your headset or work with a computer screen overlaid whilst also minding your kids. This is attractive but not completely new. Headsets like the Meta Quest 3 have this feature, but there are still issues with latency between the real and virtual displays.

Vision Pro aims to make the blending of the two seamless.

The main thing stopping VR from becoming mainstream however is the user interface. Even with top-end headsets like the Meta Quest 3, you still have to use two physical controllers and wear a clunky headset.

Vision Pro is still a large bit of kit. However, it is designed to look more stylish and has a set of unique bands to more accurately fit the back of the head. The, albeit very odd-looking, Persona front-facing screen also displays a fake image of the user’s face to maintain a sense of eye contact.

All of this is minor though when compared to the main Vision Pro USP; there is no need for controllers. Users will be able to control their headset using eye movements and hand gestures, all tracked by an unprecedented array of sensors.

The removal of controllers is a big step towards making VR more immersive and less intrusive, meaning Vision Pro already stands way out in front of competitors in this regard.

The price tag is massive, but so are the advantages.

Apple Vision Pro Specifications

Vision Pro will be powered by Apple’s M2 chip for computing and a new, dedicated R1 chip to handle the input from its 12 cameras, five sensors and six microphones. Apple says this new chip will eliminate all latency meaning there should be limited lag experienced by users.

The 4k display is also groundbreaking, with over 23 million pixels offering a resolution never seen before in VR. For reference, the Meta Quest 3, the current industry leader, has about 9.1 million pixels.

Vision Pro’s battery life lasts a maximum of two hours but it can also be used whilst plugged in.

Audio has also been carefully attended to by Apple. Two amplified drivers in each audio pod offer Personalised Spatial Audio meaning Vision Pro will adapt audio to a user’s specific head and ear geometry. The intended effect is to make it seem like noises are coming from the correct parts of the room a user is in.

Want even more? How about Optic ID, an entirely new technology designed by Apple to unlock the headset by recognising a user’s iris.

Picked your jaw off the floor yet?

Wrapping Up

Everywhere you look with Apple’s VR headset there are exciting, and at times, mindblowing elements. There hasn’t been a bit of Apple tech I’ve wanted to get my hands on like this since the launch of the iPhone.

It is a masterstroke by Apple. Assuming all goes well and the headset lives up to expectations, Apple will have blown all competitors out of the water and stolen the limelight for months, if not years, to come.

They won’t have cornered the market though. Vision Pro is stomach-droppingly expensive. As such, the Meta Quest 3 remains the most accessible option.

Even so, Vision Pro’s release is a watershed moment for VR and the wider tech industry. It will assert that safety in iterative smartphone releases is no longer acceptable. If you aren’t willing to gamble on something new, then you’ll be left in the dust.

Are you excited for the release? Let me know below and stay tuned for a full Vision Pro review!

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