Apple finally took the wraps off its highly anticipated mixed-reality headset in June.
The Vision Pro is sleek and stylish and comes packed with features, though the hefty $3,500 price tag is bound to be prohibitive for many of those interested in the new device.
For anyone who does fork out for it when it goes on sale early next year, another issue could be comfort. According to a Bloomberg report on Sunday by prominent Apple leaker Mark Gurman, Apple’s Vision Pro headset “has caused neck strain in testing due to its size and weight.”
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Its specific weight has yet to be revealed, but various reports suggest Apple’s new Vision Pro headset tips the scales at around 1 pound (453.6 grams).
Apple engineers are reported to now be working on the next version of the Vision Pro, with a particular focus on making it lighter and smaller, thereby making it more comfortable to wear for extended periods.
“Work on the next Vision Pro remains early, but the company is hoping to make the device lighter and at least slightly smaller,” Gurman said in his report, adding that “testing has shown that it can feel too heavy for some users — even in short stretches.” Apple may even tackle the issue with the first Vision Pro by adding an over-the-head strap, Gurman claimed.
Apple engineers are also looking at ways to make the headset simpler for those who wear glasses. The upcoming headset doesn’t have enough space for spectacles, with the tech giant instead partnering with Zeiss to create prescription lenses that magnetically attach to the Vision Pro’s displays.
Of course, creating so many different lens combinations is anything but straightforward, so Apple is apparently considering shipping custom-built Vision Pros with preinstalled prescription lenses. However, Gurman notes that this is far from a done deal as it would make it harder to resell the device and fails to take into account people’s eyesight changing over time.
A suggested solution is augmented reality spectacles that overlay information on the lenses. This would mark a shift away from virtual reality but has the potential to offer an altogether more comfortable experience that can still offer plenty of features.
Gurman believes Apple stopped development work on its AR spectacles last year as the technology isn’t quite there, but he believes the company will return to the project at some point.