On January 16, the company gave tech news sites Engadget and The Verge an opportunity to try out their upcoming device ahead of its release on February 2. The preview was largely positive with Engadget’s Cherlynn Low commending the Vision Pro’s ability to create an immersive entertainment experience. But as Low states, “the best heads-up display in the world will be useless if it can’t be worn for a long time” and that’s exactly what happened. 15 minutes into the demo, she began “to feel weighed down by the device” with a modicum of pain arriving soon after. This sentiment was repeated by The Verge’s Victoria Song who felt the Vision Pro pushing down on her brow, resulting in a mild headache.
This issue has been known for some time now with early testers complaining that the headset “feels too heavy” after wearing it for a couple of hours. TechRadar’s US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff, who has worn the Vision Pro a few times, admits that it “really needs [an] overhead strap” to support its weight. Fortunately, there is such a strap. It’s called the Dual Loop Band sporting a strap going over the top of your head and one around the back.
It’s unknown how much of a difference the Dual Loop Band makes. The extra strap presumably worked well enough as neither report would go on to mention the weight as a problem again.
But still, the issue will continue to exist. It’s unlikely Apple will address this in time for the American launch in February, but it's conceivable Apple could make changes for the international release.
Notable industry insider Ming Chi Kuo posted new details on the Vision Pro’s potential global roll-out to his Medium newsletter claiming it might come out just before WWDC 2024 in June. At the developers' event, Apple will also share information about visionOS with programmers to help promote a spatial computing ecosystem around the world.
There are a couple of things getting in the way of the global release.
First, there aren’t a lot of Vision Pro units to begin with. Apple wants to make sure the US launch and subsequent roll-out goes as smoothly as possible. What's more, the company needs to adjust the headset’s software so it complies with international regulations. Kuo finishes his post by saying the faster these matters are addressed, “the sooner Vision Pro will be available in more countries”.
No word on exactly which nations will be a part of the initial group to get Apple’s shiny new gadget after the US launch. However, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims the tech giant is considering Canada, China, and the UK will be among the first.
While we have you check out TechRadar's list of the best virtual reality headsets for 2024.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.