Nearly three times the minimum wage. For $ 3,499 (3,267 euros), the new virtual reality headset "Vision Pro", unveiled by Apple Monday, May 5, should allow its buyer to enter the era of the "space computer".
These glasses with a design close to that of a ski mask represent a great challenge for the boss of the apple brand, Tim Cook. This is indeed the first launch of a new product since the release of the Apple Watch in 2014.
The promise? Reinvent the way the user is supposed to interact with computing but also his environment. This headset allows you to see – like real glasses – the surroundings while displaying additional information on the interface/screen in front of the eyes: this is its augmented reality aspect.
But it also allows you to fully immerse yourself in virtual reality, like multiple "VR" ("virtual reality") headsets, such as those of Facebook or Sony, to evolve in a 100% digital universe, made of video games, dematerialized conference rooms, etc.
For the general public?
The commercial ambition of this launch is also to succeed where Facebook struggles to make its hole with its Oculus headsets (the virtual reality brand bought for $ 2 billion by Mark Zuckerberg in 2014). Without ever naming it, Apple also wants to dominate this metaverse that is supposed to be the future of the internet.
Except Tim Cook calls it the "space computer." And it's not just a difference in terminology. Facebook is betting on a universe where the user can consume entertainment while being inundated with advertisements bringing money to Mark Zuckerberg's empire. Apple's core business is rather objects. For Tim Cook, it is not so much about the future of the Internet as about the future of the computer or smartphones. Because in the long term, these headsets should allow Apple to continue to flood the market with its products, even when the world will have tired of buying a new iPhone every year.
But for $3,499? Facebook's latest virtual reality headset costs $500. Certainly, Apple is known for offering high-end products, whose price exceeds those charged by the competition. But in this case, it is seven times the price of the main rival.
The most likely reason for this pricing policy would be that this first version of the mixed reality headset (virtual and augmented) is not really intended for the general public, says the Financial Times. It would rather be a first step in this big bath with a headset that professionals in the sector can afford to think about applications or games specifically for this object. And when the entire ecosystem is ready – headset and dedicated applications – Apple will be able to release a more affordable version for ordinary mortals. But there is currently no guarantee that this objective will ever really be achieved.
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