Apple’s highly anticipated mixed reality glasses, the Vision Pro, were released in the United States on Friday, marking the tech giant’s significant foray into the augmented and virtual reality space. Priced at $3,499, the Vision Pro is Apple’s first major product launch in the realm of mixed reality since the introduction of the Apple Watch nine years ago.
The Vision Pro has generated immense interest among enthusiasts of virtual and augmented reality, who view this technology as the next frontier in internet interaction, following smartphones. However, the steep price tag and the lukewarm success of similar, more affordable releases by Meta (Facebook’s parent company) have raised questions about whether the Vision Pro will immediately redefine the landscape.
Early reviews express a mix of admiration and skepticism. The Verge describes the Vision Pro as an “amazing” product but notes significant trade-offs that are “impossible to ignore.” While praising its cutting-edge image quality and the joy of navigating applications using just eyes and fingers, critics highlight issues such as weight, hair disturbance, and the need for a bulky battery.
Apple positions the Vision Pro as its initial venture into “spatial computing,” avoiding the conventional term virtual reality. The company asserts the availability of 600 applications and games specifically designed for the Vision Pro, along with compatibility with a million other applications. Disney has partnered with Apple, contributing 150 3D movies at launch. However, major platforms like Netflix, Spotify, and Google have yet to modify their applications for compatibility.
While Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced that the Vision Pro would be available in other countries later this year, analysts from Wedbush Securities estimate sales of approximately 600,000 units in 2024. The mixed reality glasses have undoubtedly sparked excitement, but the true impact on the market remains to be seen as users grapple with the device’s merits and limitations.