After months of waiting, the Vision Pro is almost upon us. Apple’s mixed-reality headset — or “spatial computer” as the company calls it — goes on sale on February 2, with preorders opening on Apple’s website on January 19.
If you want to be one of the first people to try the Vision Pro, there are a few things you’ll be able to do once things kick off. In this guide, we’ve laid out exactly what you need to do to try out a Vision Pro and what you can expect to happen when you do.
Right now, Apple hasn’t opened the door to Vision Pro signups. If you want to preorder the device, you need to wait until 5 a.m. PT on January 19, when Apple will open the preorder process on its website.
Once that happens, you can put your name down for a Vision Pro. The headset will be available to the general public from February 2 in Apple Stores, on Apple’s website, and in the Apple Store app.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see delivery times slip back as more people order the headset. So, if you order a Vision Pro, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on Apple’s delivery windows to stay abreast of when your headset will arrive.
There is another way you can try on a Vision Pro, and this doesn’t require you to pay anything or preorder the device.
In an email sent to people who had signed up for more information on the Vision Pro, Apple said that in-person headset demonstrations would take place starting February 2. That means you can book a place at an Apple Store and try on a Vision Pro without ordering one first.
“Starting at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 2, we invite you to sign up for a demo of Apple Vision Pro at your local Apple Store,” read the email. “Demo times will be available Friday through the weekend on a first-come, first-served basis.”
So, set your reminders for the morning of Friday, February 2, if you want to try on a Vision Pro headset in person. It’s not clear what time zone the 8 a.m. starting time refers to, but since the same email notes that preorders begin at 5 a.m. PT on January 19, we’d expect Apple is referring to the same time zone for demonstrations.
Apple’s email suggests that in-store demonstrations could only last the weekend. We think that’s unlikely, but it would be a good idea to sign up for a demo as soon as possible to avoid missing out, as we expect the available slots to fill quickly.
How will the demonstrations work?
Apple hasn’t provided much information on what will be included when you go to an Apple Store for a Vision Pro demonstration, but we can infer a few things. There have also been several leaks that have shed more light on the process.
Apple has never released a product like the Vision Pro, and the chances are most people have never tried on any of the best VR headsets. With that in mind, Apple will want to show customers exactly what the Vision Pro is capable of in order to convince them to part with its sizeable $3,499 asking price.
We’d therefore expect demonstrations showing users how to watch videos (including spatial videos), play games, use apps and the visionOS operating system, conduct a video call, and more. Apple says it has made navigating visionOS as intuitive as possible, but it will still require explaining, given how different it is from what most people are used to.
In terms of the physical device itself, you’ll need to find out what size and fit of headband works best for you, and that’s something that Apple’s staff will likely help you with. Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has also explained that Apple will scan your face to ensure the light seal fits correctly and does not let any light in while you’re wearing the Vision Pro.
In addition, Apple is including the option to buy Zeiss lenses that magnetically attach to the Vision Pro. These are aimed at glasses wearers (since regular glasses will not be compatible with the headset). The lenses come with prescription and non-prescription options, and presumably, Apple will need to help customers choose the right lenses during the demonstration process.
Gurman has added that select Apple Store staff have recently been trained on how to help customers with the headset and how to answer any questions users might have and that those employees will then train their in-store colleagues. That suggests that you will be able to ask any Apple Store worker for help with your Vision Pro questions rather than having to reserve those questions for a booked product demonstration.
Try before you buy
Since the Vision Pro is the first headset of its kind that Apple has ever made, there’s a lot for potential customers to get to grips with. From working your way around the operating system to playing games and watching movies, it makes sense to get an in-store demonstration before buying.
We wouldn’t recommend blindly buying one from Apple’s website until you’ve had a chance to test the headset out, especially since it will cost at least $3,499 (with larger storage options costing more). That’s a lot to spend on a device, so you want to make sure you know how it works and are happy to get one before parting with your cash.
If you are interested, set a booking reminder for 8 a.m. on February 2. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can preorder the device at 5 a.m. on January 19.