BY Wesley Diphoko 4 MINUTE READ

When Tim Cook, the Apple CEO, was launching the Apple Vision PRO (a new virtual reality headset) he was not only launching a new product. The leader of one of the most loved brands in computing took over from a leader who launched great products, Steve Jobs. Ever since he took over from Jobs for the first time he launched a product that has his leadership fingerprints all over it. Tim Cook did not only launch his first product but a new category of computing for Apple and the world.

Until now, tech companies have been trying to develop a wearable product that enables viewing of the virtual world. Google tried with the Google Glasses, a product that failed dismally to be adopted by mainstream society. Microsoft tried to impress with the Hololens, an impressive product that tried to enter the factory floor and some labs. It also failed to get mass adoption. Lately, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) also tried via a collaboration with RayBan. They launched RayBan Stories, a product that beautifully merged digital and fashion. Even Ray Ban Stories is battling to get thumbs up from fashionistas and tech enthusiasts. Overall these gadgets failed to impress from a tech standpoint.

Something completely different can be said about the newly launched Apple product. It is envisaged that the Apple Vision PRO will hit the market in 2024. Even before this product is launched it’s clear to see its potential impact.

The Vision PRO will change how we watch video entertainment. It will probably take away the need to have a television for some. It will not only serve as an entertainment tool but will enter the office as well. It may become an additional companion for hardware such as Mac.

One of its most impressive features (having seen from the launch event) is its ability to enable its user to interact with the virtual world while interacting with the physical world. If the metaverse was in need of a device, it’s safe to say the Apple Vision PRO will fill that gap with ease.

For now, Vision Pro does not look like something you can wear and walk in the same way as Google Glasses and Ray Ban Stories. There’s however nothing stopping future versions of this product from evolving to become the future eyewear that allows us to live in the metaverse and in the physical world.

Judging by the economic impact of the app store which has delivered trillions of dollars for Apple, it is easy to see how this product will deliver economically for the Silicon Valley tech giant. This will be made possible by another app economy that will emerge from this product.

The Apple Vision PRO will require new apps to be developed. Just about any digital product you can imagine will require a Vision PRO app to be viewable and usable on the platform. For us to enjoy some of the most watched programmes and also to create on the platform there will be a need for apps that will work on the Vision PRO.

All of this also means new professions, new skills and new jobs. Over and above these things we will also see competitors of Apple also developing products that seek to compete with the Vision PRO. The South Koreans will try and the Chinese will workout their own version and before you know it there will be versions of the Vision PRO across the board.

Apple is once again taking a lead in enabling the adoption of key technologies. The US tech giant showed us the value of a mouse and thereafter everyone followed. Later on it also showed us what it means to have a smartphone and a smartphone became a widely accepted product. Shortly thereafter Apple launched their own version of a tablet, the iPAD and thereafter a tablet became a product category for most computing companies.

The same is true for the Apple Watch and the world of watches. When Tim Cook was launching the Vision PRO he was ushering in a new era. If the history of computing and Apple is anything to go by, now is the time to be ready for the Vision PRO world. Companies will have to reflect on the meaning of this moment. They will have to decide how they will respond. Product decisions will have to be made. The sooner one reacts the better. Professionals in the tech space will be wise to start learning about spatial computing and getting the necessary skills to build for this category of computing.

One thing for sure is that 2024 will become a significant year for spatial computing. Apple has moved, what will be your move?