The 2023 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference took place this Monday where we were introduced to a range of new IOS features and devices. However, the main stand out is the Apple Vision Pro. An augmented reality and virtual reality headset developed by Apple for the everyday person.

Credit: Apple

With high-resolution displays, advanced sensors, and spatial audio, it promises a seamless and intuitive user experience. The built-in cameras track movement and gestures, enabling enhanced interaction with the virtual world.

Furthermore, Apple intends to revolutionise communication by offering 3D modelling of faces that represent users during FaceTime calls. The Vision Pro will “employ a neural network to scan and create hyperrealistic avatars, supposedly bringing us closer together.”

The goggles are compact and sleek with a singular piece of laminated glass serving as an optical lens that allow for a wide array of cameras and sensors to blend the world with digital content. For comfort it has an aluminium frame that curves around the user’s face and flexible straps that attach it to the users face.

But at what cost?

First and foremost, the price sits at a staggering $3,499 USD. While Apple justifies this cost by highlighting its superiority over cheaper alternatives, some of the best devices in the market sit at around a thousand US dollars.

Even with more manageable prices, these devices have failed to gain widespread popularity time and time again. So, why should we rush to embrace this latest offering when its predecessors have struggled to find a market?

According to Apple, the differentiating factor of the Vision Pro is its aim to enhance reality rather than immerse users in a separate virtual world. These, unlike solid VR goggles, utilise glass, enabling users to actively engage and interact with the people around them to some extent.

While Apple insists that the Vision Pro enhances reality, the concept seems paradoxical. How can we truly enhance reality by further immersing ourselves in a digital realm? Is this not just another screen for us to be glued to?

See the promotional video and decide for yourself:

We’re expecting to see the Vision Pros in stores and online by early 2024 with dates and prices still unknown for the Australian market.

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