Future Of VR Headsets? Please - There Are Big AI Issues To Consider

The forthcoming Apple Vision Pro headset platform will start at a modest $3,499 price tag. That's right -- modest.

Initial speculation was that the headsets would go for $5,000, $7,000 or more.

Still, this would be about two to three times the price of high-end 4K OLED TV sets -- for really big 65” to 77”-inch screens. 

Proponents would say it is all about the intense, immersive experience.

But is it really -- at least in the short term, for entertainment-demand consumers? Are touch, smell, and even a sense of taste part of this experience? No -- not yet.

Perhaps, thanks to AI technology, 10 or 20 years from now we will have those sensory experiences in a “Matrix” type world of real, total immersion.

Right now, Apple is opening up this world, doing all it can with its Vision Pro headsets -- making a big deal for "mixed-reality" content. But in the near term, it is giving consumers what they might expect: lots of TV and movie content.



Apple made a recent deal with Disney+, which will include thousands of shows. The Vision Pro app will launch with other high-profile content as well from Apple TV+, Disney+, ESPN, MLB, PGA Tour, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, Fubo, Crunchyroll, Red Bull TV, Imax, TikTok and Mubi.

Pre-orders begin Jan. 19, with availability beginning on Feb. 2 at Apple Stores. 

The downside to previous VR headsets, of course, is that most are bulky. It's like wearing a small TV set on your head.

Apple has streamlined its headset, including the capability to "see through" the actual screen with the ability to screen graphics, apps and other content and to navigate Apple’s virtual reality (VR) just by using eyes, hands, and voice.

Proponents talk up the fact this is more than just your regular VR goggles -- that it will transform work, education, health care, and that information can be weaved into your reality. Think of a surgeon who requires special visual needs when performing complex, detailed procedures.

Apple is looking to move the needle -- trying to get to a place where consumers feel where the next generation of VR should be going.

But it also needs to encourage developers with other forms of content, beyond entertainment.

For other followers of new entertainment-technology mashups, virtual/video headsets may be somewhat “old-school” now as the focus has turned sharply to artificial intelligence (AI).

“It is instructive to remember that Apple invents entire new categories that have the potential to disrupt existing markets and create entirely new markets,” Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan wrote in a recent note.

That would be good news. CNBC says sales of VR headsets have not been impressive over the last few years, with actual usage declining and new VR software that has not been coming as expected. In addition, Meta's VR headset sales have slowed appreciably. 

But now as the world is caught up in AI everything, is the VR headset content experience worth it for entertainment consumers who are anxious to embrace the future?

Perhaps if Vision Pro can hang around long enough.

1 comment about "Future Of VR Headsets? Please - There Are Big AI Issues To Consider".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, January 18, 2024 at 9:29 p.m.

    Seems that Apple does becomes a hit I don't know about VR headsets thou isn't my thing I doubt I'll ever get a VR headset being bulky on a head. I don't see this being a game changer for VR headsets in my opinion since they haven't caught on.

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