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Apple's Vision Pro headset is here. What to know before you buy

Apple released its Vision Pro headset Friday, with tech junkies hitting up locations across the U.S. to snag a look or experience them firsthand.
An Apple employee holds up a Vision Pro headset.
Posted at 8:48 PM, Feb 02, 2024

Apple Vision Pro is officially here.

The mixed-reality headset launched in Apple stores across the U.S. Friday, with eager shoppers itching to get their hands on the $3,499 product. 

Though crowds were smaller than the mobs who once fought over early iPhones and iPads, lines still formed outside of Apple's flagship stores, either to purchase the new product or just to see what it could do firsthand in hands-on demos.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the company's flagship New York City store Friday morning, where 200 patrons awaited the store's opening, to celebrate the release. Cook touted the product's price compared to its value, telling CNBC it's "tomorrow's technology today."

But how does the Vision Pro work exactly? Here's what we know.

What is the Apple Vision Pro?

Apple unveiled the Vision Pro last year at the Worldwide Developers Conference, calling it "the most advanced personal electronics device ever."

Being the company’s first new product since the Apple Watch’s release seven years ago, it easily became highly anticipated without consumers really knowing the details — or the hefty price tag.

Physically, the "spatial computing" headset resembles a pair of goggles that conforms to the face. Technologically, the headset allows users to seamlessly integrate different screens with their surrounding environment. That could mean seeing virtual reality or a movie play out while also seeing the world around them, or it could mean viewing workspaces and computing selections as if the desktop or viewing screen were floating out in front of the device.

"Apps can fill the space around you, beyond the boundaries of a display. They can be moved anywhere, scaled to the perfect size, react to the lighting in your room, and even cast shadows," Apple states on its website. "Environments let you transform the space around you, so apps can extend beyond the dimensions of your room. Choose from a selection of beautiful landscapes, or turn your room into a personal movie theater with the Cinema Environment. The Digital Crown gives you full control over how immersed you are." 

The entry-level Vision Pro comes with 256GB storage. The next step up would be a 512GB model for $3,699, then a 1TB headset for $3,899.

How does it work?

Apple

The device will run using visionOS by Apple, a new platform created just for the headset. Users will be able to use the headset while it is plugged in, and if it is unplugged, its external battery will support "up to" two hours of use.

Apple says users will have "infinite screen real estate" with the device, as a sort of do-it-all personal computing device that could replace a number of other products, like computers, phones, televisions and more. 

And to navigate between apps and websites, users can simply use their eyes, hands and voice.

Its setup process includes a scanning of the eyes, hands and environment. Then users can use their eyes and fingers to move through apps, or they can activate Siri using their voice. 

Buying Vision Pro

Apple

Vision Pro headsets became available at U.S. Apple Stores on Feb. 2, but they're also available to buy online. 

But if you're placing an order, be sure to have an iPhone or iPad nearby, as Apple will need to scan your face in order to determine the correct size device to send you. 

Buyers can expect to receive an Apple Vision Pro headset, a polishing cloth and two different headbands, along with a charging cord and other key accessories. Buyers also have the option to order Vision Pro with prescription lenses for an additional $149.