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Apple’s first spatial computer, Vision Pro, is here

Autor: Article based upon analysis from Reuters Breakingviews
2 min

Apple yesterday unveiled Apple Vision Pro, a revolutionary spatial computer that blends digital content with the physical world, while allowing users to stay present and connected to others.

Vision Pro creates an infinite canvas for apps that scales beyond the boundaries of a traditional display and introduces a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by user’s eyes, hands, and voice.

Featuring visionOS, the world’s first spatial operating system, Vision Pro lets users interact with digital content in a way that feels like it is physically present in their space.

The $2.8 trillion company, led by Tim Cook, unveiled the device at a product launch just as Apple’s stock price is hitting an all-time high.

It is the third tech giant to enter the eyewear business. Alphabet’s Google failed with its Glass project, which launched in 2013 and was later discontinued.

Meta Platforms bought headset company Oculus in 2014 and is using its products to push Mark Zuckerberg’s pet project, the Metaverse. This division currently accounts for less than 1% of Zuckerberg’s $700 billion company’s revenue.

Apple’s gear has a whiff of both ventures. Like Meta, it looks like eye protection a diver might wear. And like Google, the user can interact with the real world while wearing the device, suggesting that people might actually see a person wearing the glasses. In some ways, that’s the worst of both worlds.

But Cook does have an advantage. First, unlike Meta, the company has always been a hardware company. The iPhone’s iterations suggest that the company will figure out how to make the design cool.

And unlike Alphabet, Apple is not as deep into developing an artificial intelligence product, and its advertising business, while growing, is still a relatively small part of its overall revenue.

That suggests virtual users may be less concerned about the company’s literal interest in peeking into their homes, especially given chief executive Tim Cook’s statements about the value of privacy.

Apple still has a long road to success. At $3,500 a piece, it’s too expensive for mass adoption. The clunky look limits public use. And people may still be uncomfortable switching between the real and virtual worlds.

But when it comes to finding a device that is both aesthetically pleasing and tolerable, Apple’s real-world experience suggests it has a better chance of success than others.