According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is getting ready to prepare in-store staff on how to sell the company’s upcoming Vision Pro mixed reality headset. Training is reportedly slated to take place in mid-January, with launch said to be internally expected to take place the same month.

Unveiled at WWDC in June, Apple has repeatedly confirmed that the long-awaited mixed reality headset will release in “early 2024,” although there’s been no mention of specific launch date yet.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that staff training is being scheduled for mid-January, which would see select employees travel to the company’s Cupertino headquarters for a two-day seminar.

Image courtesy Apple

The report maintains that Vision Pro’s setup process will be complex, requiring customization for each user. Additionally, unnamed sources informed Gurman that while customers will be able to reserve Vision Pro online, the company may be pushing in-store pickup to help guide customers through the process.

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Considering the ‘pro’ price tag of $3,500, it makes sense Apple will be taking every precaution to make sure customers don’t make some of the mistakes new VR users typically face. Things like getting a snug (but not ‘too snug’) fit for long-term use and getting the headset’s lenses into what is called the ‘sweet spot’ where the display is most clear are all important when trying on a headset for the first time, Apple Vision Pro included.

Meanwhile, Apple is quietly preparing developers to create apps for Vision Pro by letting them go hands-on with hardware, having opened so-called ‘Developer Lab’ locations in Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York City, Sydney and Singapore.

Despite some early access to hardware, getting a critical mass of developers to stock the App Store with MR content will undoubtedly be a long and iterative process, as the company still has a ways to go before it can introduce a cheaper, more consumer-friendly headset that packs in all of the goodness we saw in our hands-on with Vision Pro back in June.

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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.
  • Naruto Uzumaki

    Nice rich people will be able to see they’re room in passtrough and play regular non vr games

  • gothicvillas

    Im curious to see hands on reviews. Not that im getting one. Never owned anything from apple and perhaps never will..

    • Why do you feel that way, just curious.

  • Hussain X

    I’m hoping Apple can revive 3D movies, 3D TV shows and 3D gaming (for non vr games). The experience in flat 2D mode (with exceptions) just feels boring in comparison. E.g. watching Avatar 2 and playing the new Avatar game in 3D would be a much more mind blowing immersive experience than in 2D.

    • ViRGiN

      Would be cool if they could revive it into a spatial form, kinda like lightfield.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      How? 3D gaming OK, but there simply isn’t much 3D movie/TV content available and I cannot see how even Apple could change that. Perhaps one day when VR gets widespread enough…

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        That’s kind of a chicken/egg problem. 3D movies will only be produced if there is demand, demand requires available players, players will only be offered if there is demand and movies.

        But this can now change rather quickly. While initially 3D movies were shot using dual cameras, causing much higher production costs not justified by limited demand, company’s later switched to adding the second eye perspective in post production with software, which is much cheaper. And with further improvements in spatial recognition and tracking, this gets better/faster/cheaper all the time.

        So if all of a sudden HMDs turn mainstream and provide a viable base and demand for lots of 3D video content, movie producers can now actually go back to their movies shot in 2D and (often) turn them into 3D later on. Similar to VR mods not achieving the same as designed for VR games, converted 2D movies will be a different experiences from written for and shot in 3D movies, but still much more immersive than just watching the flat version.

  • jasonmartino

    If Apple can eventually connect these things to generative AI, they will sell like hot cakes. Because the headset can track your eyes and fingers and listen to your voice, it will be the perfect way to prompt and direct AI to generate and edit images, videos, 3D renderings, power point slides, spreadsheets, business and educational materials, music, etc.

  • Popop

    Report : Apple vision pro on track to fail as early as january.

    • What makes you say that …?? lol

      • J Marcos Patricio

        It’s pretty obvious this is a failure, it’s useless, I’ve had VR since the beginning and this is definitely not what’s needed right now.

        • Orah

          Literally the one thing we need if it really does what it promises. Full reading clarity and MicroOLED allows me to completely switch to VR/MR for work/entertainment.
          These are the only reasons I don’t use my Valve Index as a main driver instead of my OLED TV.

        • Arno van Wingerde

          I am glad that you and Popup have so much better understanding than Apple of “what is needed”!
          Just for fun, let’s see what Apple actually brings and see what their plans are for the next years. This is clearly not a mass device, but it might be Apple’s “Quest Pro to the Quest 3” road to go forward.

          • J Marcos Patricio

            Yeah cause apple has never had a failure right?

  • M2 Studio

    I plan to buy as many of them as Apple will let me. These devices will sell out faster then you think. Especially, in certain markets. I need as many and I can get my hands on.

    • BananaBreadBoy

      If I had billionaire/millionaire money, it’d be 2. One to use and experiment with, one to keep sealed to inevitably sell for tens of thousands a few decades later.

      • xyzs

        I you were multi millionaire, you wouldn’t need to plan scalping shit like that in the first place…

        • BananaBreadBoy

          Tbf, it ain’t exactly scalping if it’s waiting decades with one single item. Honestly, but that point I’d probably just see it as a collectible and hold onto it.

      • lol I did precisely that with Quest 2/256 [Facebook version]!
        But I’m not a billionaire.
        Or a millionare.
        But I’ve got thirteen bucks on me right now!

  • MackRogers

    I do not like Apple. Never have liked Apple.

    But I am aware enough to realize that Apple is the only company in the world able to save XR. This is our last gasp. We stand at the precipice of the shuffling off of the great mortal coil experiment that was VR.

    I started as a kickstarter backer for the DK1. I own the Team Fortress 2 “TF2VRH” skin to prove it. I have blood in this game. Most of you were sucking on your mother’s teats when I was pay $10 per game adjusted for inflation of Dactyl Nightmare at my local mall. Your opinions on “Assassin’s Creed Nexus” and the like are fucking nauseating to me.

    I respect Valve, I respect the shot they took, but they are out of the game no matter how much copium I have had flushed down my throat from reading SadlyItsBradly’s daily missives on the subject. I believe “W” put it best when he said: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” I have access to a hot mic from 2021 of Faliszek telling a vendor that GabeN never forgets(in context to two failed hardware projects suffocated by hapless idiotic devs like Anton Hand putting out shit software).

    Now let me address you BigScreen morons. The pyramid scheme in debt up to their eyeballs in debt, student project company, wondering why the M&A acquisition never happened. They can fuck off back into the corner with Jeri Ellsworth and the woke TiltFive Bellevue rejects. They don’t move the needle in any meaningful metric.

    VR should NEVER have started gaming first. This idiotic industry thought going from horse and buggy to formula was a good idea, puzzled over why their slick tires and low profile frames were getting stuck in horse shit all over the road.

    XR needs to START as an extension of the smartphone. We are 15+ years from gaming and were were 25 a decade ago. XR should be a blooming, a corridor of interactions we are already familiar with. Eye tracking, not shit Oculus pro eye tracking, real solved low latency eye tracking is magic. It is an evolution and paradigm shift greater than arrow keys to mouse. Micro Oled will finally allow us to use these applications.

    Apple is the only company with the R&D, the social clout, the supply chain, and the software stack to pull this off and actually bring it to market.

    • Wanna bet $1000 on Deckard being released …??
      We’ll put the dough in escrow or whatever, we’ll figure it out.
      You’re so sure Deckard is dead, OK fine.
      Put your money where your mouth is, Bigshot ….

      • I’ll take your non-response as a resounding “NO”.
        lol Never effin’ fails ….

    • BananaBreadBoy

      Lmao, did a gamedev jump you in an alley or something? What’s with the random snide backhands toward Anton and Bigscreen?

      Frankly the VR market worked just fine trying out gaming first, since it help explore figuring out 3D content and design early on from an enthusiastic niche of tinkerers and programmers. Not to mention a new tech product like a VR headset already had a stigma as a tech “toy”, which easily lets it slot into video gaming.

      Trying to be an “extension of the smartphone” too early is what got us the mess that was GearVR, Cardboard, and all those other phone-in-a-case BS boxes.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      You’re so right: now get back to your Cardboard.

      But a bit more seriously: VR needs oodles of new technology, I am happy that Apple starts to chip on and grateful for the heavy lifting that Occulus and Meta have done. But this a not a “if we have all these bits&pieces together we can build a modern car” but a bit of invention here, a bit there until we get enough pieces of the puzzle together. .

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        We will go back. Not to 2014 lowres Cardboard with slow GPUs, laggy/drifting 3DoF without input. Instead to VR on smartphones incorporating 10yrs+ of tech advances, depth sensors, 6DoF and hand tracking, faster than the average standalone VR HMD, as people invest a lot more for phones with broader use cases.

        Now at ~6.9bn phones, we should hit a 1:1 smartphones to humans ratio before 2030. Standalone VR has advantages, but like everyone always carrying a phone everywhere pushed more uses onto those, the same will let future “Cardboards” take large parts of the XR market. Either as slim and light HMD add-ons with 6DoF and hand tracking, connected to your phone as compute unit like HTC Flow. Or even as Pimax Portal like phone carriers in Cardboard tradition for easily accessible/affordable occasional XR use, long before AR glasses become feasible. People will configure kitchens on their phones in Ikea’s AR app, then slip them into a simple HMD case to check if their arms can reach the upper shelves.

        PC and console gamers look(ed) down on mobile gaming, but it took 50%+ of the market in a few years, and iPhones now get current AAA like AC Mirage and RE8. VR with minuscule unit numbers betting against now much advanced smartphones comes with even worse odds.

        • BananaBreadBoy

          VR’s piggybacking on mobile development just fine by incorporating chips, screens, cooling, and similar hardware into standalone headsets.

          The biggest roadblock to phone holder headsets was that they introduced unnecessary friction towards getting into VR. Few people want to fiddle with their phones, take them out of their case, and jam them into a holder just to play a VR game. Carmack stated that when the GearVR and Oculus Go shipped, even though the Samsung phones running the Gear had better chips and screens, the Oculus Go had way higher retention, despite having lower quality software.

          Even setting up a phone as a compute puck (which would need to be wired) is still more friction than just putting a headset on.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Gear VR blocking important functions like calls or notifications added a lot of friction. And Carmack criticized Quest for still not properly integrating Android apps, again forcing users to take it off and switch to their phone.

            AVP users can make phone or Facetime calls, use iMessage or iOS apps, from within the HMD. Integration is actually easier with VR using phones with regular apps already installed, but is still missing in Android, as Google dropped phone based VR. I expect the Samsung/Google/Qualcomm XR cooperation to finally provide it. All three focus on smartphones, making seamless integration a must, something Meta cannot offer without PlayStore.

            Phones as XR HMDs will only become relevant once XR HMDs are useful to regular users, and we aren’t there yet. We’d still see multiple tiers with standalone HMDs, pure displays using phones for compute (tethered or wirelessly), and phones as displays in Cardboard like viewers, picked depending on intensity of use, application, portability, and cost. All options could now provide a decent XR experience, making the choice about convenience and money, while there were worlds between early phone and PC based VR.

          • Plus using a phone as a compute puck is precisely the same as GearVR.
            GearVR: Phone “wired” [connected] to HMD.
            COMPUTE PUCK: Phone wired to HMD.
            And the precisely the same shit’ll crop-up:
            overheating, almost instant battdrain & the SoC being taxed with phone-y junk.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      I’m on a similar timeline, and still own the 1991 Amiga “VR Studio/3D Construction Kit”. My perspective on Apple needing to save XR is very different though. And I like Apple.

      It took WAY longer than expected for VR to crawl to today, and I expected we’d get somewhere else. VR gaming is nice for selling enough to lower hardware costs, though IMHO one of the least interesting XR use cases. But VR/XR dragging through decades of tech limits, high cost, lacking apps and (still) barely bearable comfort tells me it will not just stop. Small steps like Bigscreen Beyond’s best of class comfort (at high price), Tilt Five best of class consumer AR (with very limited use), or Valve taking years for Deckard may not trigger mass adaption, while Apple’s R&D, user/dev base and supply chain obsession could. But they all still move VR/XR forward, showing what’s possible, even with limited resources.

      32yrs ago creating/moving in your own 3D worlds in 320*240@5FPS was tedious, but awe inspiring. Trying early VR HMDs was brain melting, but also mind blowing. VR/XR is still awe inspiring and mind blowing today, (also still tedious and brain melting), so people won’t let it die. Even if Microsoft drops it, Valve takes Valve time, or AVP fails because it can’t reach iPhone numbers fast enough. It just might take more decades, and future Luckeys or Ellsworths to carry on the torch.

  • VrSLuT

    Butt “Vision Pro’s setup process will be complex, requiring customization for each user” kiss of death!

  • BananaBreadBoy

    January’s a LOT earlier than I expected. If it comes to pass, I can’t wait to finally see some proper reviews of the headset. I wanna see Apple’s hardware chops in VR/AR.

  • J Marcos Patricio

    I bet it’s just like everything else Apple overpriced and over hyped.

    • philingreat

      the vision pro is cheaper than the varjo and you don’t need a powerful pc

      • gothicvillas

        good luck playing MFS on Apple or other great titles. Otherwise you will still need a powerful pc. On its own, it will be Quest 3 Pro.

        • philingreat

          Apple doesn’t want that people play MFS on a Vision Pro. They want absolutly 0 motion sickness to make sure everyone who goes into their VR headset has a comfortable experience.

        • Orah

          There will be mods regardless. If Vision Pro booms, this will be the modding VR center.

      • J Marcos Patricio

        You’re actually comparing the Vision pro with the Varjo? Apples and oranges. What we need to develop VR and AR is cheap consumer devices, not elitist overpriced, separate ecosystem crap like everything from Apple.

        • philingreat

          We already have cheap consumer devices. Why is comparing Vision Pro to Varjo apples and oranges? Both are designed for corporations, both have similar capabilities, both are in the same price range. Multiple influencers compared the Vision Pro and Varjo. Which headset would you compare to the Vision Pro then? And the vision Pro is in the same price range as a M3 Max Macbook Pro, but you have VR/AR on top of that.

  • Arno van Wingerde

    This may be obvious to us, as we are presumably all experienced VR users. An innocent putting on the set and seeing a blurry picture may be turned off at first sight/feel – which is something Apple wants to avoid at all costs. It would be very “un-Apple-ish” to have a set-up more complex than a Quest.

    • Yes, as I said in the FIRST SENTENCE of my above comment.

  • xyzs

    Things are gonna get serious soon then.

    The world of tech only knows how to follow Apple so, now it starts.

  • Wow, so no more delay to March as previously rumored?

  • Arno van Wingerde

    Have other people noticed that Tim Cook has all his VR sets on the edge of his bathtub… hope they are waterproof!