Apple Vision Pro vs Meta Quest 3: Clash of Mixed Reality Giants

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The latest foray into mixed reality (MR) comes from Apple, with its long-rumored Vision Pro headset. This announcement puts Apple in direct competition with the industry leader, Meta, in the rapidly growing AR/VR consumer space. Although full specifications for the newly revealed headsets are yet to be detailed, it’s evident that the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 have distinct design, pricing, and hardware choices.

On price and availability, the Apple Vision Pro is set to retail at a staggering $3,499, targeting early adopters and tech-savvy consumers. In contrast, Meta positions the Quest 3 to cater to mainstream users, with a more affordable starting price of $500. Apple plans to roll out the Vision Pro early next year. Meta, however, intends to release the Quest 3 later this year.

When comparing their design and hardware, the sleek metal-and-glass build of the Apple Vision Pro is consistent with Apple’s brand identity. It features numerous cameras and sensors, enabling passthrough functionality for augmented reality and an external screen that shows the user’s eyes and expressions. The Vision Pro also incorporates finger and hand gestures, along with voice commands as controls, though Apple Arcade games can be played with a Bluetooth controller. Meanwhile, the Meta Quest 3 might not appear as refined, but it comes with external cameras, a depth sensor, and full-color AR passthrough capabilities. It also ships with a pair of upgraded motion controllers intended for gaming and immersive experiences.

Apple’s Vision Pro boasts better-than-4K resolution images for each eye, with screens collectively containing over 23 million pixels. Although we don’t know the exact resolution of the Quest 3 screen, Meta claims it will be crisper than the 1,832 x 1,920 resolution offered by the Quest 2.

Moreover, the computing power and battery life differ considerably between these two devices. The Vision Pro harnesses the powerful M2 processor for Macs and an R1 chip for handling camera and sensor data. Conversely, the Meta Quest 3 utilizes Snapdragon Qualcomm XR2, a chip derived from smartphone technology. The Vision Pro lacks an onboard battery and requires a plug-in pack for approximately two hours of usage, whereas Meta Quest 2 boasts up to three hours of use on a single charge (though the Quest 3’s battery life remains unconfirmed).

In terms of software and content, Apple aims for the Vision Pro to be a productivity and entertainment device, with access to popular apps and 3D camera capabilities. On the other hand, Meta focuses on immersive VR games and AR experiences with plans to develop AR games on the Quest 3.

To sum up, the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 demonstrate different approaches to MR technology. While the Vision Pro emphasizes high-end design, power, and accessibility to Apple’s vast ecosystem, the Quest 3 focuses on gaming and immersive experiences at a more affordable price. Consumers may base their decision on the price point and product focus, but only time will reveal the full extent of each device’s capabilities.

Source: Decrypt

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