Apple (AAPL.O) on Monday unveiled a costly augmented-reality headset called the Vision Pro in its riskiest bet since the introduction of the iPhone more than a decade ago, barging into a market dominated by Meta

Apple will offer the Vision Pro AR headset for thrice the list price of Meta.

In its riskiest move since the release of the iPhone more than ten years ago, Apple debuted a pricey augmented-reality headset called the Vision Pro on Monday, entering a market that is now dominated by Meta.

A 15-inch MacBook Air, the potent M2 Ultra chip, updates to its iOS software, and a long-awaited fix to stop autocorrect from annoyingly changing a common expletive to “ducking” were all unveiled by Apple at its annual developer conference.

Starting at $3,499, the Vision Pro is more than three times as expensive as the most expensive headset in Meta’s lineup of mixed reality and virtual reality gadgets.

After years of disputes between the firms over concerns like user privacy and control of developer platforms, the headset will put Facebook-owner Meta in direct competition and test a market saturated with devices that have failed to catch on with consumers.

Apple stressed the headset’s new augmented reality features as well as the partnerships it will provide with sports and entertainment. According to Apple, the device would make use of a new chip called R1 that will interpret data from its sensors in a fraction of a second.

Wall Street, meanwhile, which had pushed Apple shares to a new high ahead of the introduction, was unimpressed by the announcements. The stock’s post-market activity was mostly flat.

According to David Rolfe, chief investment officer of Wedgewood Partners, which has owned Apple stock since 2005, “wealthy, techie early adopters will buy the Vision Pro in droves, but still years to move the needle for the mammoth Apple.”

Although he acknowledged that the headset did not yet have a large market, Rolfe praised the technological prowess of the item. I’m reminded of the very beginning of the personal computer revolution with Apple Vision Pro. The PC didn’t enter the mainstream for many years. Likewise for VisionPro.

Users of the Vision Pro will be able to use their eyes to pick content inside the goggles, tap two fingers together to click, and gently flick to navigate. They will also be able to take images and films with a three-dimensional camera and microphone system that can be watched in 3D afterwards.

The device also has an outside display that presents the user’s eyes to individuals in the outside world, which is perhaps its most visually apparent distinction from Meta’s headsets.

When a user is completely submerged in a virtual environment, the outer screen turns off. An improvement over Meta’s gadgets, which display a more rudimentary video feed of the outside world, is that when a person approaches a user who is in full virtual mode, the headset will show both the user and the outside person to each other.

Apple CEO Tim Cook remarked, “It’s the first Apple device you look through, not at.

Early in 2019 will see the release of Apple’s headset in the United States, with additional markets following in 2024.

Investors will be curious to learn how Apple and Meta, which, according to market research firm IDC, currently has about 80% of the market for AR/VR devices, see the virtual reality market.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, has described his idea for using headsets to enter and exit a “metaverse” where people may virtually gather to work, play, and spend. Apple executives avoided using the phrase.

According to Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, “Zuckerberg is trying to create a virtual world that he wants us to be in, and it seems to me that Apple wants to keep us still anchored in our world and just augment it.”

In addition to Meta, virtual reality devices are also made by Sony Group Corp and Pico, which is owned by ByteDance.

According to IDC, 8.8 million headsets were sold by all of these businesses last year.

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Apple claimed that it has been collaborating with Unity (U.N), a technology firm that deals with game creators, as well as Adobe, Microsoft, and other companies to get their apps on the new headset. Following the news, shares of Unity increased 17%.

The Vision Pro will support both Apple TV+’s library of films and TV shows as well as Walt Disney’s  Disney+ streaming service.

Apple also demonstrated using a trackpad, keyboard, and headset to operate a typical computer with multiple displays.

With an additional battery, the Vision Pro can operate for up to two hours, according to Apple, which would lighten the user’s load. There is no autonomous use for the item; it must be plugged into a wall outlet or battery pack.

The top-of-the-line Quest Pro mixed reality headset from Meta, which combines virtual reality with a live video feed from the outside world, has a two-hour battery life built right into the headgear itself. On its Quest devices, Meta also provides Microsoft applications.

Apple did not make any significant announcements regarding generative AI products akin to ChatGPT or Google’s Bard search engine, but it quietly infused AI into a number of minor services, like live voicemail transcriptions.

With an M2 Ultra CPU made by the business, it unveiled a new version of the Mac Pro, its fastest desktop.

The Mac Pro was the last device in Apple’s lineup to employ an Intel processor up until Monday. After Apple removed its CPUs from its most powerful desktop, Intel’s stock sank 4.6%.


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