Apple on Monday unveiled a long-rumoured headset that will place its users between the virtual and real worlds, while also testing the technology trendsetter’s ability to popularise new-fangled devices after others failed to capture the public’s imagination.

After years of speculation, Apple CEO Tim Cook hailed the arrival of the sleek goggles — dubbed “Vision Pro” — at the US company’s annual developers’ conference held on a park-like campus in Cupertino, California, that Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs helped design.

“This marks the beginning of a journey that will bring a new dimension to powerful personal technology,” Cook told the crowd. Apple didn’t immediately reveal the goggles’ price, although they are expected to cost in the $3,000 range, likely limiting their appeal to a fairly narrow band of video-game enthusiasts and affluent technophiles.