Vision Pro: what we need to know about its specs appeal

Glasses wearers are focusing on what Apple didn't say about its magic computer hat

Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Vision Pro reveal left me with quite a few unanswered questions. And the biggest ones are over its support for those of us who wear glasses, because while Apple did say it would include those of us with wonky eyes it hasn't yet gone into much detail.

All we know so far is that Apple will be working with Zeiss to offer lenses that will enable glasses wearers to use the Vision Pro. But in the absence of any more detail all we've got is, ahem, specs-ulation. 

Here are the things I'd like Apple to bring into focus.

The Vision Pro questions we'd like Apple to answer

The first big question is how well-supported glasses wearers will be at launch. One of the reasons Google Glass failed because it took so long to make prescription lenses available: they didn't arrive until 2014, some three years after the initial launch. According to the Vision Council, nearly 70% of Americans aged 18 or over need some form of vision correction. That's a lot of potential buyers.

It's not just a question of when Apple will launch prescription lenses, but also how wide that support will be. I think it's a pretty safe bet that basic short- and long-sightedness will be covered, and probably mild astigmatism too. But what about more complex needs? For example, I wear varifocals and those lenses are much more complex than your average specs. That's a challenge for headset makers, to the point where Meta is only at the prototype stage of VR with varifocal lenses. Will Apple decide that there simply aren't enough customers to justify the expense of making lenses just for them?

Being a varifocals wearer also means I'm vividly aware of the cost of many kinds of lenses, which can be considerable. And that's my third concern here. The lenses appear to be an exclusive Apple/Zeiss product, and that means they're going to be sold by the same firm who consistently charges lots of money for pretty much everything: iPhone cases, MacBook Air cables, Apple Watch bands and more. High street and online competition means there aren't big margins in prescription specs any more. Will Apple be going for its usual 40% mark-up on these lenses?

These questions don't need to be, and probably won't be, answered straight away: the headset won't be out for months yet. But the sooner Apple brings some clarity, the sooner the big Vision Pro picture will come into focus.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (