What is Apple Vision Pro? When mixed-reality headset will be available in UK

The Apple Vision Pro, a “mixed-reality” headset, has hit stores in the US. The device allows buyers to blend real and virtual worlds by incorporating digital graphics into their real world experience.

It’s a big day for consumer technology and Apple fans, and the company says this is its most significant product launch since the iPhone was released in 2007.

Despite a fat retail price tag of roughly £2,800 in the US, the headset is estimated to have received roughly 200,000 pre-orders since it became available on 19 January.

When will Apple Vision Pro release?

Apple Vision Pro is out in the US as of 2 February, however the company has not yet given a UK release date for the much hyped product.

However, unconfirmed online theories from seasoned Apple analysts have pointed towards June as a potential UK release date, which is when Apple hosts its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WDC), an event at which Apple has a history of dropping significant announcements.

If you’re keen to get ahead of the pack, your efforts might be in vain. Though you could theoretically ship a copy of the headset into the UK, it wouldn’t work unless you could provide US credentials and a US Apple login.

How much is Apple Vision Pro expected to cost?

Apple has given no official indication of the UK price tag. Apple products have generally been priced at similar rates worldwide, so accounting for current exchange rates it could cost UK consumers roughly £2,800.

If a price like that seems out of your ballpark, there are comparable products available for cheaper. Meta’s XR headset the Meta Quest 3, which has many similar capabilities, can be purchased for £479.99.

You’ll be out of pocket even more if you have bad eyesight, as users will need to pay extra for custom lenses to correct bad vision.

Hard contact lenses are not compatible with the device, but the hard of seeing can use what are known as Zeiss optical inserts at an added cost of $99 to $149.

What does Apple Vision Pro do?

Users can leverage the device to view and record what Apple calls “spatial photos and videos” which are made using a 3D camera that is built into the Vision Pro.

Apple has also billed the device as useful for office workers, and it can be used for everything from making video calls to checking email and managing multiple screens at once.

Potential uses could also include gaming and exercise apps, though the current selection of games is fairly limited.

Beyond just entertainment, you can also use the headset to scan your iris in your eyes, to authenticate payments, much like a fingerprint.

What are the early reviews saying?

Early reviews of the product have been positive, with many critics praising the aesthetics of the device.

Many of the criticisms have centred around the weight of the device between about 600g and 650g – heavier than some of the smaller iPads.

Consumer technology website The Verge said: “You’re just going to feel it after a while.”

Other commentators were critical of the device’s high price point. The New York Times said “it’s not a device for the masses or even the mass affluent” and instead is a “status symbol for your face”.

The newspaper praised how the new model avoided some of the issues that plagued earlier versions of VR headsets, saying it didn’t cause users headaches or blurry vision after use, and was relatively comfortable.

“Like it or not, Apple has built a device that is too wild to be ignored,” said the critic.