Immersed Visor's new standalone and AI upgrades arrive in Black Friday deal
January 4, 2024: Corrected the Qualcomm chip used in the Immersed Visor.
Immersed is upgrading its 4K Visor headset before the 2024 launch, adding a standalone mode, an AI assistant, and more. The price remains $750 for a limited time in a Black Friday deal.
We learned in September that the Visor is said to have a very clear passthrough camera, so you can see your environment. It connects to your computer via USB-C but also works wirelessly. Immersed developed an external battery pack with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability.
Now, Immersed is adding a standalone mode with a built-in web browser, an immersive home theater mode, an AI assistant, and more. For a limited time, the price remains $750, but will climb to $950 after Black Friday, which is November 24, 2023.
The question is whether the upgrades are worth the extra expense. Here are the details.
Immersed Visor upgrades
The Immersed Visor is designed for productivity. In fact, it was meant to run only one native app, a well-rated virtual desktop app called Immersed.
The app connects to your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, so you can run your most powerful productivity apps in a multi-screen mixed reality view. Still, a single app sounds a bit restrictive. That changes with the latest upgrade.
The Visor will now include a web browser, an immersive home theater, and support for OpenXR apps. That means VR gaming might be possible with the Visor's 4K-per-eye displays.
There won't be an App Store at launch, but you will be able to run other apps. I wouldn't be surprised to see an Immersed app store in the future, since that benefits developers and users.
The Visor includes a 30-minute battery life. Immersed previously announced a two-hour battery and a new four-hour battery is planned, allowing longer time away from your computer and extended use in standalone mode.
The Visor looks like sporty sunglasses supported with nose pads and earpieces. The svelte design looks nice, but for long-term comfort it also comes with a head strap. Immersed has improved the original strap design, and claims it sets a new standard for comfort. The original was a simple back strap. Immersed hasn't shared images of the new design.
The prototype hasn't been widely shared, and we haven't heard any reports about long-term usability. Since Immersed claims the Visor will be as light as a phone, it should be much more comfortable than a typical VR headset that weighs about a pound.
Every new tech product should have AI and a tap on the side of the Immersed Visor will activate the “Curator” assistant. Few details are known, but the press release says the AI “helps you with menial tasks in your virtual environment, allowing you to concentrate on higher-value tasks with less effort.”
Immersed also boasts the Visor has upgraded tracking cameras, allowing “incredibly high precision.” Finger pinch gestures will be supported in the user interface as well as eye-tracking.
Immersed made a bold comparison in its latest press release, stating, “[the Visor] will deliver an even more premium experience, similar to the Apple Vision Pro, but for less than a third of the price.” While Apple limits the Vision Pro connections to a Mac, the Visor will be able to connect to your Windows PC, Mac, or Linux computer.
The Visor as a spatial computer
The problem with standalone VR headsets is that they are often underpowered. Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR2 is a great solution for low-power headsets and smart glasses. Despite the age of the chip, it's still chosen for many new products.
The Immersed Visor will use the new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip. That's a high-performance, 4K version of the mixed reality processor used in Meta's Quest 3. The plus variant of Qualcomm's is 15 to 20% faster, but slow compared to the M2 chip in Apple's upcoming Vision Pro.
Based on the specifications available, the Visor should be powerful enough to run browser apps well, which covers many productivity needs. The Quest 3 is usable as a laptop replacement for light office work, though the screen resolution is a bit low, and some apps just aren't available. The biggest trouble with the Quest is its browser, which is quite limited.
However, the Immersed Visor isn't dependent on native apps and standalone operation. You can connect to any computer via a cable or wirelessly if you need more performance or want to use a particular app that isn't available natively.
With any unreleased device, it's wise to use caution. Immersed is a respected software developer relying on partnerships with Qualcomm, Intel, and an unnamed “tech giant” to manufacture the Visor. It sounds great on paper and looks good in photos, but we haven't tried the Immersed Visor and have yet to hear any third-party experiences.
If you are intrigued and can afford to set aside $750 for the standard version or $1,000 for the Founders Edition, you get all the features mentioned above at the original price during the Black Friday sale. On November 25, 2023, the price goes up by $200 to $950 (Visor 4K) and $1,250 (Visor 4K FE).