The Apple Vision Pro, the company’s first foray into virtual and augmented reality technology (what they prefer to call “spatial computing”) is a hard sell for most people. It’s among Apple’s most expensive offerings, with a $3,499 price tag not including hefty taxes, plus add-ons like a $199 travel case and $99 prescription lenses. On top of that, VR and AR are relatively unproven concepts amongst the general public, with pioneers like HTC, Sony, and Meta struggling to market headsets as a consumer necessity.
But Apple has a history of changing what people are willing to spend money on, fabricating demand for their products practically out of thin air. It hopes to achieve a similar miracle with the Vision Pro by making it as integral to daily life as its phones, watches, and computers. Marketing materials have positioned the device as a tool for work and a venue for entertainment: when the device is on, browsers float in midair and movies surround you for immersive viewing. There is very little talk of its gaming capabilities — perhaps a conscious effort to distance the Vision Pro from its gaming-focused competition.
A crowd of media in front of the 5th Avenue Apple Store.
Credit: Elizabeth de Luna
Physically, the device is as beautiful as Apple could make it at this stage in its development. A single, curved panel of glass comprises the front of the device, with aluminum siding housing the tech magic within. A thin wire snakes out of it and into a battery that is supposed to be stored in the wearer’s pocket during use. A strap hugs the head, making the device resemble a pair of ski goggles. A lighter, less substantial apparatus — a pair of glasses, perhaps — would make the Vision Pro more comfortable and convenient for every day wear. Perhaps we’ll see that in the coming years.