Apple has finally taken the wraps off its much-leaked AR/VR headset, which is officially called Vision Pro. As expected, its big USP is the way it can blend the real world with virtual reality, with the lenses switching from transparent to opaque automatically so that you're never entirely isolated from the world around you.
There are obviously loads of productivity uses for Vision Pro, but what we're most interested in is its AV credentials, and they appear to be plenty. The headset can be used to generate a virtual screen wherever you are, and this screen can be pretty much any size you like: you can make it seem like a 55-inch TV in your room, or you can use the headset's 'Environment' feature to transform your room into a dark cinema with a huge 100ft screen. Or you can use the same feature to make it seem as if you're watching that huge screen in a natural landscape. It looks spectacularly bonkers.
Of course, there have been virtual reality headsets that can be used to create a cinema-like experience before, but the Apple Vision Pro looks like quite the step up in quality. We're talking 23 million pixels across two micro-OLED panels. That equates to a higher-than-4K resolution for each eye. For movies, Apple says it will deliver a genuine 4K experience with true colour and HDR support.
On top of that, 3D is supported. Could this be the rebirth of 3D movies at home that some people have been pining for?
For sound, Vision Pro has what Apple is referring to as Audio Pods. These are drivers that are built into the headband and generate Spatial Audio that uses 'Audio Ray Tracing' to tailor the sound to your environment. You can alternatively use a pair of AirPods if you don't want to play sound out loud.
It certainly looks as though Apple is taking the VR/AR headset to a whole new level, but it remains to be seen whether people will be prepared to wear a face mask to watch a movie. Honestly, it looks very daft to us, with the actors in Apple's videos looking as if they're wearing scuba gear in their own lounge – a feeling that's heightened to levels that are equally comical and dystopian when the lenses go transparent and you can see the eyes of the wearer.
Even if you're not bothered about such things, you might be bothered by the price, which is $3499 (around £2800 / AU$5300). Still not put off? Then start counting down to the 'early next year' launch date.
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