The Vision Pro will allow users to see apps in a new way, in the spaces around them. Users can use their eyes and hands to navigate through apps and search with their voices. The headset can be used to watch movies, including in 3-D, with spatial audio, view their own pictures or videos and play video games. It can also be used for work with video conferencing apps, Microsoft Office tools or Adobe Lightroom.
Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared on stage to announce that Disney+ would be available on the Vision Pro from day one of its release.
With a feature called EyeSight, the headset can become transparent or opaque to signal to people around the headset user if they’re immersed in an experience or available to interact.
The headset uses spatial audio to make it feel like the user is totally immersed in the experience, including by sensing other items in the room.
The Vision Pro can also create a realistic-looking avatar for a user to use in the experience.
Apple’s stock was roughly flat around the time of the announcement.
Here are some images from Apple’s presentation that show how it works:
This is how the headset looks when a user is available to interact with others in the room.
Apps appear in front of the user, who can look around and gesture to navigate.
Here’s what it looks like to view a panorama with the headset.
This is what it would look like to play a video game on the device.
Apple has worked on headset hardware and software since at least 2016 in a division called the Technology Development Group. Monday’s launch is the culmination of years of development — some in secret, and some as public-facing groundwork previously released for the iPhone, such as depth-sensing cameras and software.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken at length about the potential of augmented reality that overlays computer graphics onto the real world, saying that the tech could eventually be an everyday device for most people and that its impact could be similar to the invention of the internet.
Apple’s VR headset debut comes during a time when the broader virtual reality industry has struggled to meet high expectations for the technology. For now, it’s considered to be “mixed reality,” or virtual reality that can access the outside world through cameras mounted on the headset.
Monday’s launch also opens up a new era of open competition between Apple and Meta, which develops its own virtual reality headsets. Meta said last week that its latest headset model, Quest 3, would be released later this year.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.