Apple has increased its focus on the production of its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, aiming for a launch as early as February 2024, according to sources familiar who spoke to Bloomberg on the matter.
Full-speed production of the new headset has been underway at facilities in China for several weeks, with the goal of having customer-bound units ready by the end of January. The retail debut is anticipated to follow in February.
The Vision Pro, priced at $3,499, was initially unveiled in June, and its availability in the U.S. was expected by early 2024. Apple has sent emails to software developers, encouraging them to prepare for the Vision Pro by testing their apps with the latest tools and submitting their software for feedback.
Key Design Elements of the Vision Pro Include:
- Light Seal: Crafted from a soft textile, the seal ensures a precise fit for users’ faces, with customisable sizes and shapes.
- Flexible Straps: Adjustable straps guarantee a secure fit on the head, positioning the Audio Pods near the ears for optimal audio experiences.
- Cushioned Head Band: Available in multiple sizes and styles, the headband provides additional comfort and can be swapped for different options.
For users requiring corrective lenses, Apple offers custom optical inserts, including the ZEISS Optical Inserts, which magnetically attach to the headset’s lenses. Customers will need to submit their optometrist’s prescription when ordering the Vision Pro.
Vision Pro Specs
- Compute Power: Driven by an M2 processor and a dedicated R1 chip, the headset processes input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones, which Apple says will deliver exceptional compute performance with minimal latency.
- Ultra-High-Resolution Displays: Two displays with a combined 23 million pixels create a 4K display for each eye, offering an immersive visual experience.
- Personalised Spatial Audio: Individually amplified drivers in each audio pod deliver spatial audio tailored to the user’s head and ear geometry, providing an immersive sound experience.
- Advanced Sensor Array: A sophisticated array of sensors enhances the overall user experience.
- Eye-Tracking System: High-performance eye tracking uses cameras and LEDs to project invisible light patterns on the user’s eyes, enabling precise control of the interface.
- Optic ID: A secure method of iris recognition, Optic ID allows users to unlock the device and authenticate passwords and purchases with the data stored on a dedicated Secure Enclave processor.
- EyeSight: A feature projecting the correct perspective of the user’s eyes to observers, with a visual indicator for capturing spatial photos or videos.
Earlier reports in July had suggested that Apple had to make substantial cuts to production forecasts for the headset due to design complexities. However, the recent acceleration in production shows Apple’s commitment to bringing the mixed-reality experience to consumers sooner than initially expected.
Apple has yet to respond to requests for comment on the recent developments.