It’s official: Apple is releasing its first major product since the Apple Watch.
Its new mixed-reality headset, called Vision Pro, offers a three-dimensional interface with immersive vision and sound, sleeker design compared to its rivals, and something called “EyeSight,” technology.
Ideally, this will make Vision Pro more useable while around others.
EyeSight helps users remain grounded in their respective environments, by alerting them to the presence of other people. When someone approaches a Vision Pro user, the headset brings them into the user’s field of vision, while at the same time displaying the user’s eyes.
When using an app with Vision Pro, the headset’s exterior display will give visual cues to show that the user is busy or distracted with something else. This visual cue fluctuates depending on whether the user is browsing Safari, or in the middle of watching a movie.
“Your eyes are a critical indicator of connection and emotion,” said Alan Dye, the VP of human interface at Apple during WWDC, the company’s annual developers’ conference, held Monday in Cupertino, California. “Not only does EyeSight reveal your eyes, it provides important cues to other about what you’re focused on.”
Whether or not EyeSight allows Vision Pro to be less stigmatized in public remains to be seen, but allowing users to be aware of their immediate surroundings is a step in the right direction.
At the moment EyeSight is not currently available in competitors, like Meta’s Quest 3, which was announced just days before Apple’s Vision Pro.
Another key difference in the two devices is their respective pricing — Vision Pro will cost $3,499, while the Quest 3 will start at $499. Apple said Monday Vision Pro will be available in early 2024, while the Quest 3 comes out this fall.