What is Apple Vision Pro?
Recently introduced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5, 2023, Vision Pro is the company’s first spatial computer (human interaction with a machine). But what makes Apple Vision Pro so unique? This computer is actually worn on your face, so the output is projected directly into your eyes. When you work on a standard computer, you control your actions using a keyboard, mouse or touch screen, but with Vision Pro, the control is through eye tracking and gestures.
What can it be used for?
This revolutionary technology takes watching TV and movies and playing games to a whole new level. Apple Vision Pro users will experience an ultra-high resolution display with a wide screen—this is the next step up from HD and provides a more immersive experience.
The headset features an advanced Spatial Audio system that provides a 360-degree sound format. In simple terms, it’s essentially a form of digital surround sound where different sounds can envelop you from all directions. It’s like being in your own personal movie theater!
Vision Pro also features Apple’s first three-dimensional camera—taking users on a trip down memory lane as they experience their favorite photo and video memories.
When will it be available?
Although Apple is hyping up Vision Pro now, the headset won’t be released until early next year. The retail price starts at $3,499 and will be available on apple.com and at Apple Store locations in the U.S., with more countries to follow.
How will Apple Vision Pro affect filmmaking?
With the reveal of Apple Vision Pro, comes a new era of “spatial editing,” as Final Cut Pro will be supported at its launch. Filmmaker Matti Haapoja, who has recently curated an exclusive collection for Artlist, tweets, “I just tried Apple Vision Pro and it’s gonna completely change filmmaking, storytelling and content creation. I’ve never experienced that sort of presence, feeling like I’m there in the scene.”
A new way of video editing
Editing in Final Cut Pro in AR will be an entirely new experience for filmmakers because you will be able to edit with their eyes and gestures. Some of the key advantages for editors include:
- An unlimited canvas: With Vision Pro, users can arrange apps and scale to size as needed, which is optimal for editing, because it eliminates the need for multiple screens
- Newfound control: Apple’s visionOS allows users to control Vision Pro with their eyes, hands and voice — enabling a spatial experience
- Advanced accuracy: Vision Pro boasts a high-performance eye-tracking system of LEDs and infrared cameras that project invisible light patterns onto each eye. Users will experience precise input without the need for any controllers
- Optimum screen quality: Vision Pro features a micro-OLED display with 23 million pixels delivering 4K ultra-high resolution in each eye
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Redefining creative spaces
Apple Vision Pro’s compatibility with Final Cut Pro most certainly holds potential for both video creators and music producers. In addition to the aforementioned advantages, Apple also created a feature called “EyeSight”, which uses a front-facing display to authentically represent the user — immersing them in digital environments.
Vision Pro also allows users to bring their Mac desktop to the digital space — enabling them to work on projects in a designated environment. The device features a 3D interface which brings an entirely new dimension to creative processes, as screen displays can appear side by side no matter the size. Video editors can better manipulate clips and transitions, while music producers can visualize sound and sequences in a way they couldn’t before.
Is Apple Vision Pro considered AR or VR?
This is a very common question since AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) are similar technologies, but often confused. AR uses a real-world setting while VR is entirely virtual. Vision Pro is primarily an AR device, but it has the capability to switch between AR and VR.
Apple Vision Pro uses augmented reality glasses and is considered a wearable “spatial computing” device. One way to think of it is as “mixed reality” because the headset seamlessly blends the real world with the digital world.
How does Apple Vision Pro compare to other VR headsets?
There are many other VR headsets on the market, but the only one that matches the highest price point to Apple Vision Pro is the Microsoft HoloLens 2. That is closely followed by the Magic Leap 2.
Here’s how the competitors stack up from a price, weight, size and/or feature perspective:
- Microsoft HoloLens 2 – One of Apple’s strongest competitors, priced at $3500 USD
- Magic Leap 2 – Another direct competitor of Apple’s, lightest weight model at just 260 grams, priced at $3299 USD
- Meta Quest Pro – VR headset, comes with motion controllers, known for its comfort, priced at just $999 USD.
- VIVE XR Elite – Strong Apple competitor due to its high-performance features, all-in-one XR headset that transforms into portable glasses, priced at $1099 USD
- Meta Quest 3 – Announced just a week before Apple’s headset, slim model selling for just $499 USD
- Valve Index – Tethered VR headset, has to be plugged into a PC, priced at $1424 USD
- Sony PlayStation VR 2 – Comes with eye tracking and motion controllers, priced at just $599 USD
Other 3D cameras
There are also many other 3D cameras currently on the market. The following are some of the highest-rated models:
- Fujifilm FinePix – Can be used right out of the box
- Lenovo Mirage – Best for those on a budget
- Vuze XR – Easy to use and excellent for live streaming
- KanDao QooCam 4K – Great for social media content
- Weeview SID 3D – Simple 3D camera
When it comes to VR headsets and 3D cameras, there are a plethora of options to choose from on the market right now. Your best bet would be to do your research and select the model that fits both your primary needs and your budget.
If you’ve got your heart set on Apple Vision Pro, but the price point stings, hold out a little longer (if you can). Apple is currently planning to release a cheaper model as early as the end of 2025.