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How the Apple Vision Pro is Paving the Way for a Seamless XR Future

Published on: April 18, 2024

An Extended Reality program student uses the new Apple Vision Pro Goggles

Seamless extended reality (XR) for everyone.  

It's a vision of the future that many XR creators and developers eagerly anticipate. As Brave Williams, Director, iEX Center and Associate Professor, explains, the goal is to create "computers that work more like humans. Rather than figuring out how we can work within the computer ecosystem, we want to create computers that can work within our ecosystem and three-dimensional space." 

In other words, it's a world where virtual reality and augmented reality are readily available and beneficial, where interacting with virtual elements doesn't require working with complex or inaccessible computer interfaces, but is as natural as interacting with a television or cell phone.

The technology to create this seamless XR world isn't here yet, but according to Williams, the new Apple Vision Pro is a major milestone towards making XR technology common and accessible. We spoke with Williams to find out how this product is bringing XR into the mainstream and how Husson's School of Technology and Innovation is giving students the opportunity to get hands-on with this amazing tech.

What is the Apple Vision Pro?

According to Apple,  the Vision Pro is "a revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world." More practically described, it's essentially a set of goggles that also serve as a computer, displaying programs and apps in the space around your line of sight.

It may seem similar to virtual reality (VR) goggles like the Oculus Rift. But VR goggles fully immerse you in a virtual world. The Vision Pro delivers a true AR / XR experience, allowing you to see and interact with both the real world and virtual images, sounds, and programs. "We're at the beginning of an XR revolution," Williams says, "and the Vision Pro is really the flagship XR device."

The only potential downside is the price tag: the Vision Pro retails for about $3,500. That's a pretty significant investment, but Williams counters at even at that price, the Vision Pro is an "exceptional value." He explains: "It competes, basically, with industrial grade devices that cost about three times as much. And not only that, but those devices typically have yearly maintenance fees that sometimes are around $1000 per year."

Of course, the Vision Pro is essentially a piece of first-generation technology: the first true XR headset on the market. It's not unlikely that toned down, more affordable models will eventually reach the market.

How the Vision Pro Can Usher in the XR Revolution

Another reason the price tag isn't an issue to Williams: he imagines the device will not just be sold to private consumers, but will also be popular at educational institutions, creating access for more and more users.

He explains: "Just because not everybody can buy one doesn't mean that there won't be opportunities for many people to try the technology. I think many schools or school districts could afford one device. And if you have one device shared amongst classrooms, that's enough. You don't need everybody to have one of their own, but if everybody can try it, they can begin to understand how XR works and be excited for it.

There are a lot of examples throughout history where you have one of something, and everybody shares it, learns about it, and then can deploy it and implement their learning when the cost comes down and everybody gets one. When I was in school, we had a shared computer at home, but there was a lab at school where you could go in and work with much more powerful and advanced technology. And that created a comfort level with the technology that wasn't there for previous generations. I think we'll see the same thing, that familiarity, with XR and the Vision Pro."

Get Hands On With the Apple Vision Pro at Husson

Of course, Husson University, already a pioneer in XR education with its Bachelor of Science in Extended Reality (XR) program, owns two Apple Vision Pro headsets for XR students to experiment with and learn on. In fact, the devices are already being integrated into the curriculum as students learn iOS coding and can develop XR integrations and see them brought to life in the Vision Pro.

That hands on experience with the top tech in the field will be a boon to XR students, giving them a leg up after the graduate and begin their careers in XR development. 

Ready to join Husson's XR program and try out the Apple Vision Pro for yourself? We invite you to request more info about Husson or apply online! A fulfilling career on the frontlines of the XR revolution awaits! 

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