Apple Vision Pro Mixed Reality Headset: Specs, Price, Release Date

Shipments of VR headsets declined greater than 20 p.c in 2022, in response to research from the International Data Corporation. IDC chalked this as much as the restricted variety of distributors available in the market, a difficult macroeconomic atmosphere, and a scarcity of mass market adoption from customers.” According to The Wall Street Journal, citing Pitchbook, enterprise capital investments in VR startups are also down significantly from a few years ago. After $6.3 billion was funneled into VR in 2019, final yr’s investments totaled $4.8 billion. (It’s unclear precisely how a lot of that cash is now flowing in direction of generative AI, the newest wave within the expertise hype cycle.) 

Meta has come closest to creating a dent within the VR market: The cheap Meta Quest and Quest 2 VR headsets have offered higher than most, with a reported 20 million models offered for the reason that product’s launch. And the corporate simply introduced the Meta Quest 3, a rush job forward of Apple’s massive announcement. According to IDC, Meta headsets comprise practically 80 p.c of the market. 

Even nonetheless, Meta has struggled to promote its way more costly mannequin, the $1,000 Meta Quest Pro. And it has shoveled billions of {dollars} into its “metaverse” technique with a view to obtain this modicum of success. The firm has stated it expects its 2023 losses from Reality Labs, its VR arm, to extend considerably year-over-year. 

But some stay optimistic concerning the potential for blended actuality to hit the mainstream, pushed partly by Apple’s entry into the fray. After revising its outlook for VR-AR shipments for this yr attributable to weak demand in 2022, IDC stated that it nonetheless expects shipments to develop 14 p.c in 2023 and to proceed rising within the 5 years after that. Jitesh Ubrani, a analysis supervisor who tracks cellular and client gadgets, stated in an analyst be aware that “Sony’s new PSVR2 and Apple’s foray into the space will help drive additional volume, while new devices from Meta and Pico, expected towards the end of 2023, will build momentum for VR in 2024.”

Peggy Johnson, the chief executive of AR company Magic Leap, said in an interview with WIRED that Apple’s entry into the market is “absolutely a good thing” for the rest of the industry. “We’ve been largely standing alone for over a decade, working on R&D and trying to get a true augmented reality system working,” Johnson said. “And there were years before that of technical spending. So it’s great when we see anybody coming into this space because it helps the whole ecosystem. It’s a big validation.” 

Some app developers are excited by the prospects too. “I think this could be a Tesla Roadster moment for mixed reality,” said Anand Agarawala, cofounder and chief executive of AR/VR company Spatial. “Apple is so good at making hardware, they’re so good at UX, in a way that other folks who have entered the space haven’t been. So I think this could be a real ‘capture the imagination’ kind of year.” 

It might indeed be a “Tesla Roadster” moment, in the sense that when the electric vehicle first became available, some wondered whether it was a “costly toy” or the start of a new era. In the best case scenario for Apple, both might be true. 

This story has been up to date with extra particulars about Apple Vision Pro’s worth and availability.

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