Although it’s definitely the latecomer, Apple is unsurprisingly stirring up a storm with the launch of the Vision Pro. Mixed reality, or spatial computing as Apple named it, is en vogue once again, and many companies are making a lot of noise to demonstrate how they’ve been playing the game long before the Vision Pro was even announced. That boast comes with the implication that they can offer a better experience and a more accessible product, like this visor-like Visor headset that’s trying to be a better Vision Pro than the Vision Pro with a more open platform, a more stylish design, and most importantly, a more affordable price tag.
Although the Apple Vision Pro is definitely more stylish than other mixed reality headsets, it’s still a headset that leaves nothing to the imagination about what you’re wearing or doing. Visor, on the other hand, looks more like its namesake, at least outwardly. Despite the spectacle-like design, it actually bears 4K micro OLED displays per eye, a lot more than what the Visor Pro boasts. And yet the headset itself manages to weigh only 200g, more than half what the Meta Quest 3 weighs. And yes, it has an external battery to help keep the weight down.
Beyond just the design of the device itself, the Visor offers a completely different experience from the likes of the Vision Pro or even the new Xreal Air 2 Ultra that was announced at CES 2024 earlier this month. It neither runs its own operating system nor does it just mirror the screen of a computer. Instead, it harnesses Immersed’s mixed reality software that it has been developing for years that practically gives you virtual monitors spread across your vision, resulting in a wider field of view compared to the common smart glasses implementation.
What this means in practice is that you can keep on using the software and operating system you’re already familiar with without any limitations. In fact, Immersed says it won’t even block attempts to make SteamVR work with its device, even though its focus is more towards productivity and professional use. Visor doesn’t even have an app marketplace, but it will release development tools for sideloading apps later on.
If Visor’s $399.99 price tag sounds too good to be true, that’s because it somewhat is. That cheap figure actually requires you to also buy a “Membership Plus” subscription that will cost $59.99 a month for 12 months or $39.99 for 24 months. The good news is that you won’t lose access to the basic features of the device if you decide not to renew after that period. Alternatively, you can buy the device alone for a full $999.99, without any of the extras, which is still a lot cheaper than the Apple Vision Pro. Whether it can deliver all these promises, however, is something we’ll have to see in due time, no pun intended.