Apple Vision Pro glasses promise to revolutionise the 3D world

Vision Pro glasses; photo: Apple
Vision Pro glasses; photo: Apple

Few innovations in the world of 3D have been as eagerly anticipated as Apple Vision Pro, Apple's virtual and augmented reality glasses. The Cupertino company is once again promising a revolution, offering the hope that it will change the rules of the game in a field where others have not been very successful.


Even though virtual reality glasses have been with us for many years and we use them for 3D content in the form of stereoscopic photos or 3D movies, among other things, they have not seen a huge success. And the time when 3D TVs were a hit has passed as quickly as it began. So is Apple now ushering in a new era of 3D content?

It should be said at the outset that Apple isn't describing its glasses as a product for virtual reality or 3D content, but as "a revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly connects digital content to the physical world while allowing users to stay present and connected to others." Unlike its competitors, which offer either augmented reality glasses - typically transparent glasses on which an additional image is projected - or virtual reality glasses - where you are completely removed from the outside world, Apple offers an all-in-one experience.

Vision Pro glasses; photo: Apple

Vision Pro glasses; photo: Apple

With Vision Pro, you can view both 3D content and the world around you, complete with virtual 3D objects. The great advantage is that you won't lose contact with your surroundings when using these glasses - you can talk to someone or simply walk from place to place in your apartment.

Innovation by Apple

When you put on the Vision Pro, each of your eyes is faced with sophisticated optics and a display with a claimed resolution of more than 4K (4,096×2,160 pixels), but you can watch your surroundings with a pair of external cameras. And people around you, in turn, can watch you because the glasses have an external display on which part of your face is projected. And the manufacturer promises to transmit your face realistically, even when communicating remotely via FaceTime.

With Vision Pro, you can watch both your digital content and your surroundings.

Another innovation is the controls. "Vision Pro creates an infinite canvas for apps that goes beyond the traditional display, presenting a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by the most natural and intuitive inputs possible - the user's eyes, hands and voice," Apple claims, and its presentations back it up.

"Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, when introducing the news. "Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing. Built upon decades of Apple innovation, Vision Pro is years ahead and unlike anything created before — with a revolutionary new input system and thousands of groundbreaking innovations. It unlocks incredible experiences for our users and exciting new opportunities for our developers," said Cook.

Ergonomics - and therefore the physical design of the glasses - is also essential for usability. So far, all indications are that wearing them could be significantly less tiring than other virtual reality goggles.

Sophisticated electronics and unprecedented interest

Of course, the electronics inside are crucial to the final impression. "Vision Pro's groundbreaking design features an ultra-high-resolution display system that packs 23 million pixels across two displays and Apple's own unique dual-chip chip design that ensures every experience plays out as if in front of the user's eyes in real time," Apple further states. And it also boasts great sound or the ability to capture high-quality 3D footage with external cameras to preserve "plastic memories".

So is a revolution really coming? It's hard to say yet. If so, it will definitely take some time for similar devices to become widespread. Apple will make its cutting-edge technology pay for itself: The price of the Apple Vision Pro starts at 3,499 US dollars. Yet according to analyst Ming-Chi Ku, Apple apparently received orders for 160,000 to 180,000 units in just the first weekend that the glasses were available for ordering. The delivery time has thus stretched to several weeks. The first clients should have the glasses available on February 2, 2024.

3DJournal, January 2024