To avoid neck strain, Apple is already working on a lighter VR headset

Scene where Spiderman tries to stop a subway train, Spiderman is wearing the Apple Vision Pro headset.

Announced this summer, the Apple Vision Pro VR headset will not be released until 2024. While it struggles to attract the masses due to its function and especially its exorbitant price ($3,499), beta users have already started complaining about neck pain from its use.

Apple, known for refining its products after their first generation, is reportedly already working on an improved version of the headset.

Augmented neck pain

According to Bloomberg, credible sources suggest that the tech giant is already developing a new version of the Vision Pro in response to early criticisms of the yet-to-be-released model.

The main drawback? Its weight, roughly half a kilogram, which has caused neck pain in several testers.

A woman wearing the Vision Pro headset, with the text: now I'm broke and my neck is too

Apple views the current solution — an optional strap on top — as imperfect for this issue. As a result, the company aims to both reduce the size and weight of the device.

At first glance, it’s not that impressive

The criticisms don’t stop there. The corrective lenses, initially designed to be interchangeable and magnetically attached, caused headaches for Apple’s operational team.

While this approach seems convenient, it poses a fundamental issue: the company would have to manage thousands of different lens combinations and essentially custom-build each headset.

Furthermore, this would make the Vision Pro hard to share, resell, or even reuse if prescription changes. Despite these challenges, Apple is considering integrating the lenses directly during the manufacturing of future versions.

A man wearing Apple's Vision Pro headset, the displayed screens are blurry, with the text: damn I sent the wrong prescription everything is blurry lol

It’s worth noting that for glasses wearers, another purchase will be necessary, as the lenses in question, produced by the German optics company Zeiss, could cost between $300 and $600.

No need for VR to turn heads

The planned revisions aren’t limited to technical or ergonomic changes: Apple is exploring several avenues for the future, including a more affordable model.

Given the starting price of the Vision Pro, at $3,499, it was hard to do worse.

The rumored price range “off the record” is between $1,500 and $2,500 (well, what did you expect?).

It remains to be seen whether hardware compromises will allow for quality software experiences and won’t compromise the EyeSight feature, which allows for more natural interaction with headset users by rendering their eyes in real-time.

A woman wearing the Vision Pro headset, but it's Donald Trump's mugshot gaze that's displayed

On the other hand, a more powerful version is also reportedly under consideration. However, it’s unclear if this refers solely to generational advancements of the processor or an upgrade to Pro or Max chips to offer better performance for gaming or more demanding applications.

What about the devs?

While the hardware of Apple’s VR headset has been ready for several months, the company is still working on the software and development tools for its new device, which, remember, has its own OS.

The fourth beta version of visionOS and its SDK were released earlier this month, and Apple offers a limited version of the headset to developers wanting to conduct real-world testing.

For those who can’t afford it (or for whom the request is denied), Apple hosts developer sessions and allows for app previews to be submitted to a dedicated internal team that can verify compatibility.

Despite Apple’s efforts to break into the virtual reality world with its Vision Pro, the tech giant struggles to appeal to the general public. The product’s astronomical cost, compared to its competitors’ more affordable options, undoubtedly works against it.

For comparison, Meta released its Quest 3 last week, with a starting price of $499.99 (for the 128 GB version).

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