The Apple Vision Pro is arriving very soon, but before you can buy one the headset has to be approved by different regulatory bodies for approval — which can reveal some things Apple has kept secret up until now. Like the fact the Vision Pro doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6E or Ultra Wideband.
The headset has just received approval from the FCC, and like all devices those listings reveal what kind of wireless communication is going on inside the Vision Pro. These filings confirm that the headset will only support Wi-Fi 6, and that Ultra Wideband will be completely absent. But the question is, why?
After all, a number of the latest Apple products, including the iPhone 15 Pro, iPad Pro and 2023 Macs feature Wi-Fi 6E support. Unfortunately this appears to be down to the fact the Vision Pro is running on Apple’s M2 chip, and Wi-Fi 6E support was only introduced with the M3.
Wi-Fi 6 is a major boost over the older Wi-Fi 5 standard, but it still relies on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. Wi-Fi 6E extends into the 6GHz band, which allows for faster wireless speeds and reduced signal interference. Naturally the newer Wi-Fi 7 standard enhances those attributes even further — though it’s currently not supported on Apple products.
The lack of Ultra Wideband may be due to the fact it may not add much to the Vision Pro. UWB chips are designed to add some spatial awareness to devices, such as an AirTag, Apple Watch or iPhone, but that doesn’t apply to spatial computing. The only real benefit would be to track down a lost Vision Pro headset more easily.
But considering its size relative to something like an AirTag, it shouldn’t be quite so difficult to spot. A Vision Pro won’t fall into the cracks between your couch cushions, after all. That means the basic “Find My” system, as seen on a MacBook or iPad, may be sufficient.
Apple still hasn’t revealed full specs for the Vision Pro just yet, so expect to see more information pop up as we head towards release day. In fact the first VisionOS apps are now available to users through the App Store. Not that you’ll be able to use any of them without spending $3,500 on a headset first.
Those apps include Keynote, Microsoft Office, Slack, Zoom, Disney Plus,
HBO Max and Fruit Ninja. It’s been a while since I heard anything about Fruit Ninja, I’ll admit, and I’d be far more interested in seeing Beat Saber on VisionOS.
The headset will formally arrive on February 2, but pre-orders open this Friday (January 19) at 8 a.m. EST. The $3,500 starting price will get you 256GB of storage, though it’s been suggested that we may see larger storage options if you’re willing to pay for them.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.