In June 2023, Apple finally unveiled its long-awaited augmented reality headset, the Vision Pro – and it’s safe to say that it came with more than a few surprises including its price tag of a cool $3,500. It is one of their biggest hardware launches in the last decade and marks a significant step forward for the tech company into a space that has been occupied by the likes of Google, Meta, Lenovo, Oculus, Merge, Microsoft, Epson and Raptor to name a few. There are a variety of AR and VR headsets on the market that range in price and user experience. Augmented reality as the name suggests looks to “augment the real-word scene” whereas virtual reality looks to create a “completely immersive virtual environment.” From a ratio perspective, AR is 25% reality and 75% virtual whereas VR is the opposite.

There are a couple of different kinds of augmented reality glasses and headsets including Heads up Displays, Holographic Displays, Smart Glasses and Handheld devices. Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive believes that the headset will “seamlessly blend[s] the real world and the virtual world.” The headset will make its debut on the market in early 2024 and has a two-hour battery life. Most of the public commentary since the announcement has been around both the price, which is substantially higher than its competitors’ headsets, the second is based on how they look. There has been a fair amount of criticism around the launch as Apple has said very little about the technology behind the glasses and as such, the company’s share price took a bit of a hit post the announcement.

Despite how they look, Cook is confident in their ability to allow users to effectively “see, hear and interact with digital content just like it’s in [their] physical space”. The ski-google looking headsets may take some time to take off based on Forrester Research that indicates that the overall AR/VR space has been a bit overhyped over the past few years with the metaverse and that kind of experience. That’s the reason why I think it will take a bit more time. Having said that, if I told you 10 to 15 years ago that people would be ready to pay almost $2,000 for a mobile phone, I don’t think many people would have said they would be willing to pay that.”