Source: Apple

The Vision Pro mixed reality headset crowned at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year where it was unveiled. The $3,500 device was marketed as having a wide array of capabilities including an EyeSight feature that enables people to see a user’s eyes.

However, upon further observation by those present at the WWDC, it was clear that this and many other features were not working yet. While this isn’t necessarily a problem since the headset will not be out until early next year, Apple clearly has a lot to do before then.

The Road to Vision Pro Release

According to a report by The Information, Apple allegedly plans to have more sophisticated health and fitness features including support for a tai chi app on the headset. The app was expected to “guide users in the practice” using its array of cameras.

Additionally, there were also mentions of new yoga apps with the capability for the headset’s downward-facing cameras to assess breathing by looking at a user’s chest and torso. However, none of it has been demonstrated by Apple to date.

And while one could argue that the company just did not have the time to showcase these abilities, the features just weren’t ready. Apple still has a myriad of things to complete before Vision Pro is ready to hit the market.

First, the device’s special software, VisionOS, is still a work in progress. For instance, some of the default apps available on all Apple products need to be customized to fit the headset. During the demonstration, only a few of the apps were shown since others like Calendar, Maps, Books, and Mail are not yet done.

The VisionOS has also not been made to support third-party apps. Despite the company having released the OS simulator and software development kit (SDK) for developers to work on apps, the software is reportedly not ready to integrate them yet.

Aside from the software, the device’s hardware still requires work. One of the selling points for the device, the EyeSight feature, is yet to function as expected. The company is also working on making Vision Pro user-friendly for people who wear prescription lenses.

Since its unveiling, the hardware has been undergoing a lot of internal testing as well as user studies to improve the comfort of the device. These tests have revealed an issue that was raised at the event, that the metal-framed device may be too heavy and bulky to wear, especially for long periods.

Other users have complained of motion sickness though notably milder than those caused by other headsets like Meta’s Quest.

Based on a report by Bloomberg Apple has created a second strap that fits over the wearer’s head to address the weight issue. But rather than providing the strap in the box, the business is thinking of selling it as an extra accessory.

So far, the devices have only been available to Apple’s top engineers and executives for home testing. However, this is also anticipated to change next month as the tech giant intends to start letting a small number of developers use the gadget directly to aid in the creation of apps.

To handle the impending deadline, Apple has been hiring more developers to work towards completing the headset.

Preparing for the launch of Vision Pro

Once the device is complete, the company has to be ready for the release and in-store sale. Thus, to continue marketing Vision Pro ahead of the release, Apple intends to build demonstration spaces within its retail shops. Once it is released, the spaces will be used by customers for fitting and selecting the proper size bands and light seal.

In order to help establish the ideal size for the light seal, which prevents outside light from entering the headset, Apple has created an app that scans users’ faces. The company will provide that app to its retail stores for the purchase process. Eventually, it could also release it for consumers who are shopping online.

Considering the amount of customization required for Vision Pro to fit its user, Apple might probably require appointments for purchases, especially at the start. This is a similar approach to what it did in 2015 with the first Apple Watch.

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