Apple Vision Pro is the latest and most innovative product from Apple that combines augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in one sleek headset. It promises to deliver a new way of computing, entertainment, and creativity with its futuristic eye and hand tracking interface, breathtaking 3D video, and impressive AR apps. But is it worth the hefty price tag of $3,499? And what are some of the alternatives and competitors in the market? In this article, we will explore the features, alternatives, pros and cons, and the buy or not decision of the Apple Vision Pro.
Features: Apple Vision Pro
The Apple Vision Pro is an AR/VR headset that uses a high-resolution display and advanced cameras to overlay virtual elements on top of the real world, or create immersive digital environments. It has a 3D laminated glass display that curves around the user’s face, delivering stunning 4K HDR visuals at up to 120fps. It also has eye tracking, hand tracking, voice control, and Spatial Audio, which enable the user to interact with digital content in a natural and intuitive way. The device is powered by an M2 processor and a new R1 chip, which provide high-performance and low-latency computing. The device also has a 3D camera that can capture spatial photos and videos in 3D, and relive them with immersive Spatial Audio. The device comes with two options for head bands: the Solo Knit Band and the Duo Knit Band, which provide comfort and stability. Some of the key features of the Vision Pro are:
EyeSight: A feature that shows your eyes on the front screen of the headset, so that other people can see if you are looking at them or not. It also allows you to control the cursor with your gaze, and keep your eye data private from websites and apps.
Hand tracking: A feature that lets you interact with the virtual world using natural hand gestures, without the need for any controllers or accessories. You can point, tap, swipe, grab, and manipulate objects with your fingers.
Spatial audio: A feature that uses dual driver audio pods to create realistic 3D sound that matches the virtual scene. You can hear sounds coming from different directions and distances, and adjust the volume and quality with your voice.
Digital Persona: A feature that lets you create and customize your own avatar, or use one of the preset ones, to represent yourself in the virtual world. You can also share your persona with other Vision Pro users, and see theirs, for social and collaborative experiences.
Mac extension: A feature that lets you use your Vision Pro as a wireless extension of your Mac, and access all your apps and files on a virtual screen. You can also use the Vision Pro as a second monitor, or mirror your Mac screen on the headset.
Alternatives: Apple Vision Pro
The Apple Vision Pro is not the only AR/VR headset in the market, and there are some alternatives that offer similar or different features, at lower or higher prices. Some of the notable alternatives are:
Meta Quest 3
Meta Quest 3 is a standalone VR headset that does not require a PC or a smartphone to operate. It features a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor, 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It has a resolution of 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, a refresh rate of 90/120 Hz, and a field of view of 46 degrees. It also supports mixed reality, which enables a spectrum of immersive experiences, such as playing a virtual piano on the user’s coffee table. It comes with two controllers that have haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, precision tracking, and finger touch detection.
PlayStation VR2 is a VR headset that works with the PlayStation 5 console. It features a resolution of 2000 x 2040 pixels per eye, a refresh rate of 90/120 Hz, and a field of view of 110 degrees. It also has eye tracking, headset feedback, and Spatial Audio.
Xreal Air 2
Xreal Air 2 is a lightweight AR headset that connects to any device with USB-C video output, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles. It features a Micro-OLED display, a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels per eye, a refresh rate of 120 Hz, and a field of view of 52 degrees. It also supports spatial computing, which allows the user to interact with digital content in their physical environment, using hand tracking, head tracking, depth mesh, spatial anchors, and more.
HTC Vive Pro 2
A wireless VR headset that uses a high-resolution display and a 120-degree field of view to create immersive virtual environments that you can explore with controllers or trackers. It costs $1,399 and requires a powerful PC to run.
Microsoft HoloLens 2
A standalone AR headset that uses a holographic display and a 52-degree field of view to create spatially aware holograms that you can interact with using your hands, eyes, and voice. It costs $3,500 and runs on Windows 10.
Pros and Cons: Apple Vision Pro
The Apple Vision Pro has many advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before buying it.
Innovative and intuitive interface: The Vision Pro uses eye and hand tracking to create a natural and seamless way of interacting with the virtual world, without the need for any extra equipment or learning curve.
Great visual experience: The Vision Pro uses a high-resolution display and advanced cameras to create a clear and realistic video passthrough of the real world, or a vivid and immersive digital environment, depending on the app or feature you use.
Great AR apps and experiences: The Vision Pro has a rich and diverse library of AR apps and experiences that let you do things like play games, watch movies, create art, learn new skills, and collaborate with others in the virtual world.
Magical Mac extension: The Vision Pro lets you use your Mac in a new and exciting way, by extending or mirroring your screen on the headset, and accessing all your apps and files on a virtual screen.
Very expensive: The Vision Pro is one of the most expensive AR/VR headsets in the market, and many reviewers questioned whether it was worth it, especially for casual users or early adopters.
Big apps missing: The Vision Pro does not have some of the popular apps and services that are available on other AR/VR headsets, such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Zoom.
External battery and cord required: The Vision Pro has a limited battery life of about 3 hours, and requires an external battery pack and a cord to use it for longer periods. This can be inconvenient and cumbersome, especially for mobile users.
Doesn’t work over glasses: The Vision Pro does not fit over glasses, and users who need prescription lenses have to order custom ones from Apple or third-party providers, which can add to the cost and hassle.
Buy or Not: Apple Vision Pro
The Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary product that offers a glimpse into the future of computing and entertainment. It has many impressive features, great AR apps, and a magical Mac extension. However, it also has some flaws, drawbacks, and limitations that might deter potential buyers. The Vision Pro is not for everyone, and the decision to buy it or not depends on your needs, preferences, budget, and expectations. Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying the Vision Pro:
Do you need or want an AR/VR headset?: The Vision Pro is a niche product that caters to a specific market segment of users who are interested in AR/VR technology and applications. If you are not one of them, you might not find much value or use for the Vision Pro.
Do you have a Mac?: The Vision Pro works best with a Mac, and offers a unique and powerful way of extending or mirroring your Mac screen on the headset. If you don’t have a Mac, or prefer to use a different device, you might not enjoy the full potential of the Vision Pro.
Can you afford it?: The Vision Pro is a very expensive product, and costs more than most laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If you have a tight budget, or have other financial priorities, you might not be able to afford the Vision Pro.
Are you willing to wait?: The Vision Pro is a first-generation product, and as such, it has some bugs, glitches, and room for improvement. Apple will likely release updates, fixes, and new features for the Vision Pro in the future, but it might take some time. If you are impatient, or want a more polished product, you might want to wait for the next version of the Vision Pro, or look for other alternatives.
The Apple Vision Pro is a remarkable product that delivers a new and exciting way of experiencing the virtual world. It has many advantages, but also some disadvantages, that you should weigh carefully before buying it. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and you should do your own research and testing before making a final decision.
Also Read: What’s New in Apple iOS 17.4 With EU Updates
How do I set up my Apple Vision Pro?
To set up your Apple Vision Pro, you need to have an iPhone or iPad with iOS 15 or later, and a Mac with macOS Monterey or later. You also need to have an Apple ID and a Wi-Fi connection. Follow these steps to set up your Vision Pro:
1. Turn on your Vision Pro by pressing and holding the power button on the right side of the headset.
2. Put on your Vision Pro and adjust the fit using the straps and the dial on the back of the headset.
3. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Vision app and tap Set Up New Vision Pro. Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your Vision Pro with your device.
4. On your Mac, open the Vision app and click Set Up New Vision Pro. Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your Vision Pro with your Mac.
5. On your Vision Pro, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process, such as calibrating your eye and hand tracking, choosing your digital persona, and selecting your preferred apps and features.
How do I use my Apple Vision Pro?
To use your Apple Vision Pro, you can choose from different modes and features, depending on what you want to do. Here are some examples of how to use your Vision Pro:
To use EyeSight, look at the front screen of your headset and see your eyes displayed on it. You can also use your gaze to control the cursor, and blink to select or confirm an option.
To use hand tracking, move your hands in front of your headset and see them displayed on the screen. You can also use your fingers to interact with the virtual world, such as pointing, tapping, swiping, grabbing, and manipulating objects.
To use spatial audio, listen to the sounds coming from different directions and distances, and adjust the volume and quality with your voice. You can also use voice commands to control your Vision Pro, such as saying “Hey Vision, open Safari” or “Hey Vision, play music”.
To use digital persona, create and customize your own avatar, or use one of the preset ones, to represent yourself in the virtual world. You can also share your persona with other Vision Pro users, and see theirs, for social and collaborative experiences.
To use Mac extension, use your Vision Pro as a wireless extension of your Mac, and access all your apps and files on a virtual screen. You can also use the Vision Pro as a second monitor, or mirror your Mac screen on the headset.
How do I troubleshoot my Apple Vision Pro?
If you encounter any problems with your Apple Vision Pro, such as low battery, poor connection, blurry display, or unresponsive interface, you can try these steps to troubleshoot your Vision Pro:
Check the battery level of your Vision Pro and your external battery pack, and charge them if needed. You can also check the battery status on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, by opening the Vision app and tapping or clicking on your Vision Pro.
Check the Wi-Fi connection of your Vision Pro and your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and make sure they are connected to the same network. You can also check the Wi-Fi status on your Vision Pro, by looking at the top right corner of the screen.
Check the display quality of your Vision Pro, and make sure it is clean and clear. You can also adjust the brightness and contrast of the display, by using the buttons on the left side of the headset.
Check the interface responsiveness of your Vision Pro, and make sure it is calibrated and updated. You can also restart your Vision Pro, by pressing and holding the power button on the right side of the headset, and then sliding to power off.