Apple launches a 3D camera (it actually has 12 cameras in total!)

Ap[ple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

This year's "One More Thing...", Apple's first new product category in eight years – after the Apple Watch – turned out to be a 3D camera. Their words, not ours.

OK, the Vision Pro, as the long-awaited augmented reality goggles are being called, do have a bit more going for them (as our full coverage shows), but Apple is making a big deal of the photographic functionality. 

That includes a top button that can act as a shutter. We also saw the playback of eerie but cute 3D videos of a kids' birthday party hovering in front of the wearer as we were told it needed to be experienced. It looked much like a moment in a movie that fades back to an older, happier time. It becomes even weirder when you realised the 

Apple Vision Pro 3D Image

A simulation of viewing a 3D image through Vision Pro (Image credit: Apple)

Vision Pro also alerts people to the fact you're recording. What looks like a visor actually has a screen (Eyesight) that can either show your eyes or display a graphic – a bit like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica – when you're otherwise engaged. This is used to "flash" or indicate recording.

Ap[ple Vision Pro

The eyes you see here are in fact a screen which draws them based on eye movement tracking. The screen can also display a pattern if the person is distracted. (Image credit: Apple)

When you realise the family 3D videos were caught using Eyesight, by someone wearing the Vision Pro, it's a little harder to imagine the situation as quite so cute!

The Vision Pro design is built around a three-dimensionally formed piece of curved glass and aluminum alloy frame. This holds two displays, totaling 23 megapixels, and is held in place by a 3D-knitted headband. The headband also has spatial audio speakers built-in.

The battery is worn at belt height, or tucked into a pocket, on a trailing cable. This isn't unusual in FPV goggles, though it seems a bit un-Apple. The light seal can be adjusted and Zeis magnetic lenses added over the main 3-piece lenses for each eye.

Apple Vision Pro seen from the side (Image credit: Apple)

If you want a 3D camera – which can also serve as a revolutionary new computer, eye-worn iPad, portable cinema (with 3D), and a whole lot more, you've got time to start saving. Apple announced they'll be available in the USA only in early 2024, with other regions to follow, at $3,499 (about £2,820 / AU$5,300).

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook