The initial release of the operating system for Apple’s Vision Pro headset, visionOS, has made its debut, providing us with some fascinating details about the upcoming Apple VR headset. One notable feature is that Apple intends for the Vision Pro to serve as the ultimate travel companion. While the Vision Pro is not expected to be available until next year, Apple has decided to release the OS early so that app developers can start creating software for the system. This way, when the headset is launched, there will be a robust library of content available, which will help justify its premium price of $3,499.
The beta version not only gives us insights into what third-party developers are working on for the Apple headset, but it also gives us a clear understanding of Apple’s vision for the Vision Pro. Previously, it was revealed that Apple discourages using the headset for VR fitness. Now, it has been discovered that the Vision Pro will have a dedicated Travel Mode specifically designed for airplane use.
Travel Mode is not just a standard airplane mode like on smartphones. It optimizes the operation of the Vision Pro to enhance the user experience while being cramped in an economy-class seat. The beta code suggests that in Travel Mode, the headset will disable some of its awareness features and require the user to remain stationary. This makes sense because the awareness features alert the wearer to nearby people or objects, which could be disruptive during a flight. Additionally, moving around excessively would likely inconvenience neighboring passengers.
While you won’t have the full Vision Pro experience during your flight, the concept of enhancing travel with VR is undeniably appealing. The beta code does not provide further details, but we can refer to the Apple Vision Pro introduction video shown at WWDC 2023 to gain a better understanding of how Travel Mode functions. Essentially, it allows users to transform their headset into a private movie theater, where they can enjoy a 4K film of their choice on a virtual display that is larger and of higher quality than the built-in video screens on planes.
If spending $3,500 on travel tech seems excessive, there are more affordable alternatives that can offer a similar experience to the Vision Pro’s private movie theater. The Xreal Air AR glasses, priced at $379, provide a budget-friendly option for frequent flyers. While they may not offer 4K visuals and have some drawbacks such as a higher price point and shorter battery life, the upcoming launch of the Xreal Beam could potentially address these limitations.
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Deepak Sen is a tech enthusiast who covers the latest technological innovations, from AI to consumer gadgets. His articles provide readers with a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of technology.