Apple has announced an augmented reality headset called Apple Vision Pro that “seamlessly” blends the real and digital world. “It’s the first Apple product you look through, and not at,” CEO Tim Cook said of the device, which looks like a pair of ski goggles. As rumored, it features a separate battery pack and is controlled with eyes, hands, and voice.
Vision Pro is positioned as primarily an AR device, but it can switch between augmented and full virtual reality using a dial. The device is controller-free, and you browse rows of app icons by looking at them. You can tap to select and flick to scroll, and you can also give voice commands. You’re also not, Apple promises, isolated from people around you. The headset will display your eyes with a system called EyeSight.
The headset has been in the works for years and has reportedly gone through several iterations as well as years of delays. It’s meant to be CEO Tim Cook’s signature addition to the Apple product lineup, and it’s garnered praise from industry insiders, even though it will enter a market that hasn’t taken off. Its primary competitor will likely be Meta, which has enjoyed relative success with its games-focused Quest 2 headset and gotten a more mixed reception to its general-purpose Quest Pro.