Technology giant Apple unveiled its first mixed reality headset, Vision Pro, at its annual developer conference on June 5, garnering shock over its $3,500 cost - a hefty hike from the anticipated $2,000 to $3,000.
Chheang Makthura, a sophomore majoring in Information Technology Engineering at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, was impressed to see that Apple’s goggles can be controlled using eye and hand movements as well as voice.
He also believes that Apple’s collaboration with Disney is impressive because he is a fan of the world leading storytelling company.
“The uniqueness of Vision Pro is its ecosystem. Users have access to many applications that are available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, while in other VR headsets there are less available options for users.”
Apple provides many advanced technologies in Vision Pro, such as LiDAR sensor, Optical ID, and Apple silicon chip.
The junior student noted, “The headset is way overpriced and only companies, organizations and wealthy people can afford the new technology.” He added that the headset is not necessary like the iPhone. Therefore, he believes that not many units of the Vision Pro will be sold, akin to when the iPhone made its debut.
Vision Pro presents many opportunities for students to improve their education. For example, students majoring in medicine can use the new technology to see a 3D illustration of a heart.
Unfortunately, due to the cost many students will not be able to afford the headsets. However, according to Moore’s Law, annually the number of transistors in chips doubles, leading to an increase in performance. As a result, the price of technology decreases.
Makthura stated that Vision Pro is expensive because the technology has only just been released. He believes that the price will drop in the next few years, making the product more affordable.
In terms of price, Vision Pro’s alternatives, such as Meta Quest 2 and Amazon’s PlayStation VR2, are much more affordable, costing $300 and $550 respectively.
When the company unveiled its first generation iPhone in 2007, about two million units were sold for around $600. In 2014, the iPhone hit the highest record in terms of units sold at 222.4 million.
However, because of Vision Pro’s high price compared to its alternatives, the company is predicted to only sell 900,000 items in 2024. Additionally, many tech reviewers and media platforms believe that the Vision Pro will be as successful as the iPhone 6 in terms of units sold.
Chhun Samnang, a seasoned software developer in Phnom Penh, commented on the Vision Pro that,
“Apple always does Apple things. UI/UX looks amazing. Do you think Apple took VR to the next level?”
What are Vision Pro’s capabilities, and limitations?
The newly released product is embedded with dual-chip capability, Mac’s M2 chip, Apple’s latest computer chip, and a newly released R1 coprocessor.
Unlike Meta Quest 2, which is a virtual reality headset, Vision Pro is a virtual and augmented headset. Vision Pro’s EyeSight function enables users to see the blend of virtual and real worlds to stay connected with surrounding people.
Yet, Meta Quest 3, which is set to be released later this year, has announced it will also be capable of blending virtual and real worlds, at a cost of about $1,000.
In terms of gaming, Apple’s Vision Pro cannot beat Beta Quest 2 as the product is not built for gamers.
Vision Pro can be used with other Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac, using iCloud. Thus, this function outperforms Meta Quest 2.
That said, Apple’s cloud computing technology has some disadvantages, such as a slow sync process, it takes up a lot of storage, and it is expensive when compared to services such as Google Drive, and OneDrive.
Reporting on Apple’s biggest product launch since the Apple Watch, Associated Press’ technology writer, Michael Liedtke, wrote, “After years of speculation, Apple CEO Tim Cook hailed the arrival of the sleek goggles — dubbed "Vision Pro" — at the company's annual developers’ conference held on a park-like campus in Cupertino, California, that Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs helped design.”