Apple’s $3,499 Vision Pro headset will challenge marketing strength.

Apple Inc. is set to test the consumer market’s willingness to invest in cutting-edge technology with its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset, priced at a staggering $3,499. Unveiled at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference, this product marks Apple’s entry into a major new category since the introduction of smartwatches in 2015. The Vision Pro, resembling advanced ski goggles, boasts its own operating system (visionOS) and a dedicated App Store. Scheduled for an early release next year in the US, followed by other regions, the headset aims to redefine and revolutionize the way people interact with the world.

With virtual and augmented reality capabilities, the Vision Pro can immerse users in high-resolution content or overlay apps seamlessly onto their field of view, enabling effortless messaging and notifications. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, described it as the company’s first product that users look through rather than at. Despite Apple’s remarkable marketing prowess and success in convincing consumers to invest in their smartphones, the Vision Pro’s hefty price tag presents a significant challenge, considering rival headsets available for a fraction of the cost.

Apple’s spatial computing interface, featuring EyeSight technology, incorporates elements of the user’s surroundings and fosters engagement with the outside world. The device offers a digital crown for seamless switching between augmented and virtual reality modes, ensuring user comfort through extensive research and thousands of filed patents. Equipped with the powerful M2 processor for computing tasks and the R1 chip for mixed-reality capabilities, the Vision Pro sets the stage for a showdown with Meta Platforms Inc., the current dominant player in the VR headset market.

To entice content creators, Apple announced collaborations with Disney, Netflix, Zoom Video Communications, and Unity Software. The Vision Pro is designed to run existing iPhone and iPad apps out of the box, with Apple also providing a software development kit for third-party software creation. The headset’s advanced technology includes multiple cameras, dual 4K microLED displays, and 3D media capture capabilities. Its battery life of two hours, extendable through external power sources, ensures all-day use.

The launch of the Vision Pro signifies Apple’s ambition to establish itself beyond the iPhone and iPad, presenting a potentially game-changing platform for the company’s future growth. With plans for a more affordable version and a higher-end model in the works, Apple envisions this headset as just the beginning of a groundbreaking journey into the world of mixed reality.