Apple has always been a trendsetter, with hopeful competitors copying everything from the company’s iconic marketing campaigns to its unique industrial design language. Still, we didn’t expect to see a knock-off of Vision Pro so soon.

Hall-walkers at CES 2024 this week noticed a headset that looks awfully familiar. If you thought Apple was hocking their latest and greatest down on the expo floor with the rest of the unwashed masses though, you’d be sadly mistaken.

https://twitter.com/CasandChary/status/1744917072336027857

The above was snapped by YouTubers Cas and Chary XR showing off EmdoorVR’s EM-AX162, which was initially unveiled at the Smart-Display Vision Expo in Shenzhen in late August—only two months after Apple revealed Vision Pro.

Here’s another look, this time showing it on the head of X-user @ntv_rd:

Obvious visual similarities besides, EM-AX162 is most certainly not going to fool anyone based on specs. The VR headset packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, 4/6GB of RAM, a single 5.5-inch LCD panel serving up 1,832 x 1,920 pixels per eye, clocked at 72Hz.

It also has a fairly small 64/128GB internal storage, which admittedly can be expanded thanks to a TF card port for extra storage, supporting up to 1TB. It also has an internal 3,000 mAh battery.

Solo Knit Band | Image courtesy Apple

Comparatively, Vision Pro is slated to pack two Apple Silicon chips (M2 Ultra and R1), dual microOLEDs with “more than a 4K TV for each eye”, eye-tracking, passthrough augmented reality, an external display that can show your eyes, 12 cameras, six microphones, and 256GB of storage. Vision Pro also has an external battery that supports “up to 2 hours of typical use and up to 2.5 hours of video playback,” Apple says.

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The China-based company makes a number of VR headset designs, but none so—how should we say—clearly inspired but the yet unreleased Apple Vision Pro. Still, taking design cues from others isn’t a first for EmdoorVR. The company has created a number of ‘inspired’ headsets in the past, including its very Pico 4-esque A836, and Oculus Go-style AX139, making the EM-AX162 just another lookalike.

Meanwhile, Apple Vision Pro is set to launch on February 2nd, priced at an eye-watering $3,500. That’s not only a prestige brand, but a prestige price-point too, meaning we’ll probably see even more headset creators come out to the woodworks to copy Apple’s evolving headset design language.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • lnpilot

    This is what you get if you manufacture your product in China. They blatantly steal and rip off your designs. Magic Leap is wise to have in-house manufacturing in the US. They never had a leak and they never had any cheap ripoffs.

    • MackRogers

      yea, that worked out great for Magic Leap. Good example.

      • sfmike
        • lnpilot

          The real funny thing is how simplistic and short-sighted that comment was. :)
          No AR company has been successful in the consumer market, including Magic Leap because there is no killer app yet. It’s mostly a software and application issue. Let’s say Magic Leap made their headsets in China. And let’s be generous and assume that it would be 50% cheaper (it wouldn’t be because the high cost is in the many years of hardware and software R&D, which has nothing to do with where you actually build the device).
          So what? There still wouldn’t be a killer consumer app and China would have stolen their cutting-edge tech, so even if they come up with a killer app, they would have no chance of ever recovering the R&D cost. I recommend studying some “2nd order thinking”.

      • lnpilot

        Your response makes no sense. No augmented reality company has been successful in the consumer market, including Magic Leap because there is no killer app yet. It’s mostly a software and application issue.
        Let’s say Magic Leap made their headsets in China. And let’s be generous and assume that it would be 50% cheaper (it wouldn’t be because the high cost is in the many years of hardware and software R&D, which has nothing to do with where you actually build the device).
        So what? There still wouldn’t be a killer consumer app and China would have stolen their designs, so even if they come up with a killer app, they would have no chance of recovering the R&D cost.
        Your comment is very simplistic and short-sighted. I recommend studying some “2nd order thinking”.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      It doesn’t matter where you let your hardware be manufactured, knockoffs are created easily in any country.

      • lnpilot

        Not true. The Chinese Communist Party forces companies who manufacture there to share their tech, employ Chinese engineers in the design etc. It’s called “forced technology transfer” (FTT). Look it up.
        So, if you make stuff in China, they will have your design all the way from the first prototype. Years before you release the product.
        If you build it at home, China has to wait for you to release it, then they have to get one and try to reverse-engineer it (that’s a 1000x harder than stealing your hardware design and software source code) and they’ll be several years behind you. By the time they catch up, you have already released 2 new improved versions and their ripoff is obsolete and not competitive even at half the price.

  • Hussain X

    “TF card port for extra storage, supporting up to 1TB”. What an oustanding techological feature. I started fantasising how wonderful my VR life would’ve been if Quest had such a feature (along with easily replaceable batteries for headset so I can swap it out when battery degrades over time through heavy use).

    • Jistuce

      Alas, “innovation” today means “make it a sealed box that can’t be repaired, modified, or expanded in any way”

      I, too, would prefer expandable storage and replaceable batteries.
      And friggin’ headphone ports, everyone stop copying the worst feature of the GBA SP!

  • not apple

    Oh no apple fan boy being angry – oh well i guess rain is wet and water is humid.

  • Mom: we have Vision Pro at home

  • pacpac

    The AVP has a M2 Ultra chip?

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Very, very, very unlikely. The M2 Ultra has a TDP of 60W, the AVP lithium battery pack is 6500mAh. Assuming that’s referring to the typical 3.7V of lithium cells, the battery provides 24Wh, so the M2 Ultra alone would drain it in less than half an hour at full load. Don’t know why the article lists the Ultra, the most likely variant is the regular M2, maybe the Pro.

      • pacpac

        Exactly.

  • Ardra Diva

    they’re made in China did you not think there would be leaks?