Apple Vision Pro first look at WWDC 2023: A glimpse at the spatial computing future

The Vision Pro is Apple's bold entry into the world of spatial computing, and it seems like the company has learned a lot from the VR and AR headsets before it. The front of the device features an OLED screen that can display your eyes, making you more connected to the people in the real world. Its springy side bands and ribbed rear headband look like suitably high-end. And, simply put, it has the wow factor you'd expect from a prestige Apple product.

Video Transcript

DEVINDRA HARDAWAR: We've finally gotten our first look at Apple's long-rumored mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro. And honestly, this thing looks a lot like a very souped-up version of Meta's Quest Pro.


It looks like a traditional headset. But there's some really cool Appley elements here. In particular, there is an OLED display up at the front, which can show your eyes to people nearby. And I think that feature alone shows that this is a much more deeply thought out headset when it comes to mixed reality and spatial reality, compared to a lot of others.

So what can you actually do with this thing? It seems like Apple has basically built on a lot of ideas we've seen from Magic Leap and the Oculus Quest and just combined them into a device that is very Appley, I'd say. It has an M2 processor and it has a new R1 reality chip to deal with a whole lot of inputs. But the idea is that Apple is bringing its computing that we're used to on the iPad and the iPhone out into an augmented reality world while you're wearing this headset.

So the headset itself can run a lot of Apple's apps. You can use FaceTime and hold calls with other people. You can browse the web. It has two 4K micro OLED displays. So that is a new technology we haven't seen on too many things yet. So it's supposed to be very, very sharp. And it looks like you'll be able to scale these apps to make them very large. And you can even turn it into a home theater type of display and just black out everything you're seeing and just see a big video screen. So it seems like Apple is crossing the boundaries between virtual reality and augmented reality here.

There is a digital crown on the side that lets you switch between the immersiveness of this thing. And it looks like something that Apple wants you to wear for extended periods of the day as sort of the future of computing. So it can run a lot of things on its own. But it can also expand and basically run what's on your Mac as well. They showed a MacBook in front of it, being able to pull the screen out and just see it as like a very large augmented reality display. That is a cool concept, and it's something I hope to see more from this device.

But there's still a lot we don't know here. First of all, this thing is 3,499. So this is not meant for mainstream consumers. And Apple made a big push here at its WWDC Conference for developers to come, take a look at this thing, build experiences for it. It does seem like there are some compelling ideas here. But it's unclear when or how long it's going to take before this is something that trickles down to mainstream consumers.

But I'll say this, we've seen a lot of virtual reality devices, most recently the PlayStation VR2, which are impressive hardware-wise. But they don't have the ecosystem to support a very mainstream appeal, I think, for a lot of people. And Apple is basically pitching this thing as the future of computing. So it's a big swing, but it's a swing on the level of the iPhone and the iPod for Apple. And it's going to be a while before we see if this pays off for them. But it's certainly exciting. Stay tuned to for more news from Apple's WWDC23 event. And look out for hands-on coverage of this thing soon.