Gamble Apple… 4.5 million won MR headphones unveiled

Apple unveiled its first mixed reality (MR) headset, the Vision Pro. The price was 3,499 dollars (about 4.56 million won), which is higher than expected, and it was evaluated as a ‘gamble’ by Apple.

Reuters and Bloomberg reported that on the 5th (local time), Apple presented the MR headset through the annual developer conference ‘WWDC 2023’ held at Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

According to this, the $499 price is higher than the original estimate of $3,000, which is 7 times the ‘Quest Pro 3’ ($499) that Meta will release this fall, and 3.5 times the ‘Quest Pro’ most expensive at the moment ($999) up to the ship

In response, Bloomberg said, “Apple is testing whether consumers are ready to spend big money,” and “The Vision Pro could be one of the most dangerous products in the company’s history.” Apple stock rose 2% just before the product launch to a record high of $184.95 per share, but fell more than 1% after the announcement.

“This is the first Apple product you can look at, not watch,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The Vision Pro is due to be released in the US early next year and in more countries in the second half.

The function is almost identical to what is known so far. In the same shape as ski goggles, it is used for VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), and operates with the touch of a finger and ‘Siri’ voice command without a separate hand controller.

The biggest difference from other headphones is a function called ‘EyeSight’. By introducing a transparent display, when someone approaches while wearing the headset, the display lights up, allowing the user to see outside as well as other people to see the user’s eyes. Alan Dye, Apple’s head of human interface, emphasized that “even with a headset on, you’re not isolated from those around you.”

An external battery was adopted to reduce the burden on the head. It can be used for 2 hours on battery and does not work without battery connection.

In addition, it introduced the latest ‘R1’ chip and plans to install new apps in collaboration with Adobe, Microsoft, and Unity. He also announced that Disney+ streaming, aka OTT, will be available.

Meanwhile, at the event, Apple unveiled a range of new products and features, including the 15-inch MacBook Air, the latest ‘M2 Ultra’ chip, iOS software improvements and auto-correct functions.

Although there have been no big announcements about productive artificial intelligence (AI) like ‘ChatGPT’ or ‘Bard’, Reuters explained that it has quietly incorporated a few small features into the AI, such as recording voice messages in real time.

Attention was also drawn to the fact that Apple did not use the word ‘metaverse’ even once in the event.

Reporter Lim Dae-jun


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