What you need to know about Apple’s new Vision Pro headset

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at Apple’s developer conference on Monday to announce the company’s highly anticipated virtual reality headset.

The VR headset, dubbed Apple Vision Pro, is the tech giant’s biggest release since the launch of AirPods in 2016. It’s also Apple’s first-ever augmented reality headset.

Here are some key points from the announcement.

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The headset looks like ski goggles

Putting on the Vision Pro makes you look like you’re about to hit the slopes. Unlike other VR headsets from companies like Oculus, the Vision Pro shows its users’ eyes on the outside.

“You’re never isolated from the people around you, you can see them and they can see you,” said Alan Dye, Apple’s vice president of human interface.

Cook added that the device is “the first product you look through, not at.”

It enables ‘spatial computing’

Once a user puts on the device, they see a bunch of apps interacting with the outside world. You control how much of the 3D interface is visible with your eyes, hands, and voice.

Apple envisions a future where apps and digital experiences are seamlessly integrated with the physical world. Cook calls this “spatial computing.”

Apps such as video players, photos and FaceTime are some of the customizable, virtual parts of your reality when you wear the Vision Pro.

Vision Pro runs on something called visionOS, the world’s first spatial operating system.

You can increase your physical environment

A twist of the Digital Crown on the top of the device admits users determine how immersed they are in an environment. For example, you can add “dynamic, beautiful landscapes” to your physical world.

The device is not cheap

The device costs $3,499 and is primarily aimed at video game developers and app makers rather than the general public.

This isn’t going to be this year’s hot Christmas present

Don’t put this on your vacation list. Cook said the Vision Pro won’t be available until early next year. Consumers can purchase it on Apple.com and Apple Stories in the US

There will be a Disney integration

Disney CEO Bob Iger joined Cook to announce Disney’s integration with Vision Pro. At launch, Disney+ will be available for Vision Pro. This means users can watch “The Mandalorian” on a virtual screen in the virtual world of Star Wars or watch a basketball game in 3D from an isometric perspective.