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Apple unveils rack-mountable Mac Pro and Vision Pro at WWDC23, new opportunities in data centres and metaverse incoming?

Written by Tue 6 Jun 2023

Apple has revealed several innovative products at its recent WWDC23 event, including a rack-mountable Mac Pro and the Apple Vision Pro, an augmented reality headset.

These products suggest new directions for industries such as data centres, metaverse, and other future business opportunities.

The new rack-mountable Mac Pro is powered by Apple’s system on a chip (SoC) M2 Ultra. The new chip is set to make the new Mac Pro its most powerful desktop systems to date, with 192GB of unified memory capacity. The new launch signals Apple’s intent to cater to high-demand applications and computational task

Notably, the computer offers eight Thunderbolt ports, six PCIe Gen 4 slots, and dual 10GB Ethernet ports, showing Apple’s continued emphasis on connectivity and high-speed data transfer.

“For those users who need the versatility of internal expansion, Mac Pro combines PCIe slots with our most powerful chip,” said John Ternus, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering.

The Mac Pro’s ability to be rack-mounted is a notable feature. This signifies a potential return of Apple to the data centre space. Apple previously offered a line of rack unit computers for use as servers – the product known as Xserve was established in 2002, but discontinued in 2011.

With all eyes on sustainability, the Mac Pro is also designed with 100% recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, and 100% recycled gold plating and tin soldering in multiple printed circuit boards.

“M2 Ultra delivers astonishing performance and capabilities for our pro users’ most demanding workflows, while maintaining Apple silicon’s industry-leading power efficiency,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies.

The new Mac Pro’s starting price is set at £7,699, though additional features and specifications will likely increase the cost.

Apple Vision Pro: A Journey Into The Metaverse?

In addition to the new Mac Pro, Apple is taking a gamble on virtual reality and Metaverse technology with the new Apple Vision Pro VR headset.

This is Apple’s first major hardware launch since the Apple Watch in 2015. The Vision Pro is said to blend the real and virtual worlds, allowing users to interact with digital content as if it were part of their physical space – similar to augmented reality technologies.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing. Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

The Vision Pro’s release could be particularly relevant in the context of the ongoing development of Metaverse technologies, a virtual world where users can interact in a shared space and businesses can explore new marketing and collaboration opportunities.

“Through a tight integration of hardware and software, we designed a standalone spatial computer in a compact wearable form factor that is the most advanced personal electronics device ever,” said Mike Rockwell, Apple’s Vice President of the Technology Development Group.

With a price tag of $3,499 (£2,800), the Vision Pro is considerably more expensive than other virtual reality headsets currently on the market, a factor that might impact its adoption rate​​.

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Written by Tue 6 Jun 2023

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