To prevent “neck strain,” Apple is already creating a lighter version of the Vision Pro

When Apple enters a new market, it often follows a pattern of releasing intriguing first-generation devices, followed by second- or third-generation iterations that fully realize the initial concept’s potential. This trend has been observed with various products throughout Apple’s history, such as the second-generation iPod, iPhone 3G, 2010 MacBook Air, and iPad 2.

According to report, Apple is already in the process of developing a next-generation version of its Vision Pro headset, aiming to address early concerns about the yet-to-be-released first-generation model. Testers have reportedly experienced neck strain due to the headset’s approximately 1-pound weight. Apple is seeking a better solution than the optional top strap, which is still under development. Additionally, Apple aims to reduce the headset’s size and weight in this upcoming version.

Apple is also contemplating changes to how prescription lenses are integrated into the headset. While the initial model will feature interchangeable Zeiss lenses that attach magnetically, future iterations may have prescription lenses incorporated during manufacturing.

Although the interchangeable lenses have posed challenges for Apple’s operations teams, integrating custom-order lenses during manufacturing would introduce its own set of complexities. It would necessitate producing a vast array of lens combinations, potentially requiring each headset to be built to order. Apple typically prefers to maintain product uniformity for ease of manufacturing. For instance, iPhones worldwide recently transitioned to USB-C ports, despite varying regulatory requirements in different countries.

Furthermore, built-in prescription lenses could limit the headset’s shareability, reusability, or resale value, and they wouldn’t accommodate changes in a user’s prescription.

Apple’s exploration for a follow-up to the Vision Pro includes considerations for a smaller, lighter model. Additionally, they are exploring the possibility of a lower-end version to address the high price tag of the initial Vision Pro. There is also mention of a “more powerful version,” although it remains unclear whether this refers to standard generational processor improvements or a potential shift to higher-performance chip tiers for gaming and other applications.

According to report, Apple’s internal teams have already transitioned to next-generation headset development, as the first-generation Vision Pro hardware has been ready for months. However, work on software and development tools is ongoing ahead of the anticipated early 2024 launch. Apple is offering a limited version of the headset to developers for real hardware testing, complemented by developer labs and an app preview submission process to ensure compatibility.

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