Skip to main content

Apple unveils Vision Pro AR headset

$3,499 headset has variably transparent visor, interface driven by hands, eyes, voice, launches in US early next year

Apple today announced its long-awaited Vision Pro AR headset as the "One more thing…" capper of its WWDC keynote.

The Vision Pro headset looks similar to many VR headsets, with goggles covering the face, a strap around the back of the head, and multiple outward facing cameras on the headset. It also sports IR lights and sensors, and an external battery pack.

However, the exterior of the goggles can be made transparent, allowing users to see their environment with the system's interface and various windows able to be positioned around the user and seemingly anchored in the air around them.

Apple has also tried to make those windows appear part of the environment, appearing to users as if they cast shadows in the world and respond dynamically to the lighting around them.

The headset can also turn opaque for more fully immersive experiences, with the visor regaining transparency to show the real world to the user in specific contexts, like when someone else approaches.

The headset doesn't have a controller to speak of; Apple insisted it could be controlled solely through hand-gestures, eye tracking, and voice control. However, it does support game controllers. The keynote shows a user playing the Apple Arcade version of NBA 2K23 on Vision Pro with a DualSense PS5 controller.

Apple also promised the headset would be the best device for enjoying 3D movie content.

Disney CEO Bob Iger showed off some of the things Disney was working on for Vision Pro, saying the headset would allow the company to make more personalized experiences for fans than ever before possible.

Iger introduced a video showcasing some possible uses Disney had in mind, from having the Disney World Main Street Electrical Parade recreated on a kitchen countertop to watching replays of key NBA plays in 3D on a coffee table.

In introducing the headset, Apple CEO Tim Cook said it would introduce people to spatial computing in the same way iPhone introduced them to mobile computing.

Apple also said it has been working with Unity to bring Unity-based apps to VisionPro with support for Vision Pro gestures, and interaction with other Vision apps.

On privacy and security, Apple has an Optic ID system that examines the user's iris to unlock the system. The company says it engineered privacy into the device, so where you look stays private with a background process, so apps can only tell where users are looking when they use a gesture to interact with the app.

As for price, the system starts at $3,499 and launches early next year in the US, with more countries to follow later in the year.

Read this next

Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
Related topics