The Vision Pro is still a prototype. An Apple expert reveals what Cupertino still has to work on before launch and gives a preview of the Vision Pro 2.
At this year’s WWDC, after a long silence, Apple unveiled the company’s first VR/AR headset, the Vision Pro. While the hardware is largely finished, the software still has some work to be done before the headset is released early next year. Two more models are said to be in the works.
Apple Vision Pro: Prototype with development needs
As Apple specialist Mark Gurman reports, the headset on display is essentially the device that Apple plans to deliver next year. There will be hardly any changes on the outside. However, there is still some work to be done on the software side.
According to Gurman’s sources, the VisionOS operating system and its applications are still in development, including the adaptation of core iPad applications such as Calendar, Maps, and Mail. How the headset will support third-party apps or 3D video is still unclear, he said.
One of Vision Pro’s most notable differentiators, EyeSight, is also not fully developed, he said. The feature allows others to see the user’s eyes while wearing the headset. In addition, the interaction with Zeiss magnetic vision lenses still needs to be fine-tuned.
Launch may not be until May 2024
To prepare for the Vision Pro’s launch early next year – which Gurman said could be as late as May – the company plans to increase the availability of the headsets for internal testing. Starting next month, select developers will also be given the opportunity to work with the device and develop apps.
One point of criticism from testers so far has been the heavy weight of the headset. Apple has developed an additional headband to solve this problem. It is not yet clear whether this will be included with the headset or sold as an accessory. Apple seems to be leaning towards the latter.
Apple Vision Pro 2 in the works
While the Vision Pro is still being prepared for launch, Apple is already working on two successor models, according to Gurman. Apple is said to have developers working on a high-end successor and a cheaper version of the first generation.
New features are already planned for the second generation, he said. The next Vision Pro will be able to display multiple Mac desktop displays wirelessly connected to a headset. It will also support multi-party FaceTime conferences while using realistic Persona avatars. The first generation will only support one-on-one chats while using Personas.
According to Gurman, the issue of missing VR fitness apps for the Apple Vision Pro has also been resolved: Apple plans to introduce “Fitness+” in a possible Vision Pro 2 and bring extensive fitness content to the mobile VR/AR headset.