In his latest “Power On” newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that Apple’s Vision Pro launch is imminent with retail stores entering preparation mode. As a person who wears eyeglasses, my question is, “What about folks who wear bifocals.”
Apple’s first “spatial computer” will cost US$3,499 and higher. It’s expected to go on sale next month and only be available in limited quantities at first. Gurman’s guess is you’ll be able to reserve a Vision Pro on Apple.com, create an appointment time, then go to your closest Apple store to get fitted with the right light seal, band and cushioning.
Bifocals, for those lucky enough not to have them, are glasses that have both a correction for your distance vision on the top of the lens, and a correction to help you read on the bottom. (Trivia fact: The first bifocal was actually invented by Benjamin Franklin.)
Apple says that users with vision correction will need to use ZEISS Optical Inserts “to ensure visual fidelity and eye tracking accuracy.” That sounds expensive.
In a June 2023 tweet, Gurman said, “I would guess that the Zeiss prescription lenses for the Vision Pro will be at least $300-600 a pair, unless Apple is eating part of the cost given the already high price of the headset itself.”
Plus, what type of lens do I order? My regular eyeglasses are bifocals (distance and reading lens), but I have a pair of non-prescription, “medium distance” eyeglasses for computer work. Hopefully, all this will be cleared up before the Vision Pro arrives.
As Andy Boxall writes for Digital Trends, Zeiss is well known as one of the best lens makers, but its products aren’t cheap.
“When I last purchased new spectacles, Zeiss was the most expensive option on the list. Back when I bought Google Glass, I had lenses (not made by Zeiss) made for Google’s optional frames, and at the time, the cost was the equivalent of a $400 Apple Watch Series 8,” he says. “But things have changed, and there are stores online that make lens attachments for VR headsets with your prescription for less than $100, but these are almost certainly not Zeiss lenses and probably won’t meet Apple’s exacting hardware and build standards either.