The design details of the optional top strap of Apple Vision Pro were revealed in a patent.
In one shot of Apple's Vision Pro introduction video from June, a side-to-side top strap was visible, and we used this top strap in our hands-on demo. The top strap on XR headsets better supports the headset's weight.
Apple hasn't officially acknowledged this top strap in any of its statements about Vision Pro so far. But back in June, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple was "considering selling that strap as an extra accessory rather than including it in the box". Gurman reliably reported many details of the upcoming headset before it was officially revealed or even acknowledged to exist by Apple.
Gurman's report also claimed that "many" testers found Vision Pro "too heavy" after multiple hours of continuous use. We reported the weight being potentially straining in our hands-on too.
The front-heavy feeling is also a problem with many other existing headsets. Meta and many third parties sell rigid replacement straps for Quest 2 and Quest 3 with a counterweight to better distribute the weight across your head, for example. But Apple appears to be trying to support its headset's weight with only a fabric headband.
An Apple design patent filed to the Hong Kong Patent Office, first spotted by Patently Apple, reveals a much clearer view of the design of the top strap.
It's seen to slot in between the headset's side arms and the braided headband, so as not to obscure the power port on the side arm nor require you to awkwardly manually clip it on (as the Vive XR Elite top strap does).
Apple's official launch window for Vision Pro is "early 2024" and Gurman reports it could launch in early February. We'll keep a close eye on whether Apple decides to include the top strap in the box or charge for it separately, as it may be crucial for the headset's comfort in long-duration sessions.