A Few Notes on the Apple Vision Pro

I picked up my reserved Vision Pro yesterday morning and just had time to get it up and running at home before I needed to prepare for a business trip. So I won’t get anymore actual usage until Friday at the earliest. In the meantime, while there are some great reviews out there, here are a few quick observations I think are important.

  • I don’t think its been fully realized that this is the first “halo” product for Apple. The demo slots were full at the store all day and the Apple employees all agreed that the Vision Pro was going to be driving store traffic like crazy just from those who are curious and want to check it out. One couldn’t demo Google Glass or any of the many generations of VR headsets. Apple stores have clearly driven sales and relationship with users. This is a big attraction and certainly will help move other types of products big and small even if most don’t actually buy this first gen product.
  • The fit is fiddly. I had lots of light leak from the suggested face measurements and moved to a more narrow fit. But a fit I now realize is a better seal at the bottom, but not quite as comfortable.
  • The video pass through is great to have as it prevents the claustrophobic disconnected feeling I’ve gotten with VR headsets. You have a setting in which the information is being projected. But it’s by no means Augmented Reality in that the video quality isn’t good enough to use for tasks in the real world while augmenting the activity with projected information. The interface, video and photos are shockingly clear and real. The real world is diminished. So if I were a surgeon, I’d need a video feed of the operating field to look at, not the pass through video. My impression is the EVFs (electronic view finders) on my cameras are better video, but then I never try to read text on paper through an EVF.
  • The diminished quality of the real world and the astounding quality of the computed world is why for now this is device to immerse in, using the video pass through just for environmental awareness. If not using apps, looking at video, one would immediately want to take it off.
  • And when you do take it off, it’s true that the real world seems somewhat diminished. I know that my iPad screen has the same resolution. It’s just removed. I’m in the real world, not immersed in it. The world of the Vision Pro is one of hightened immersion.
  • And yes, we’ve been through this before. The Mac with a single floppy. The iPhone with no apps other than Apple’s. This is a better experience than we’ve seen before and will be interesting to see how it evolves.
  • I’m thinking about the Vision Pro as “headphones for the eyes”. There’s a Steve Jobs video clip I’ve seen where he makes the point that headphones are a portable great sound system substituting for the room, speakers and big devices. The Vision Pro adds vision to that mix. It’s a display device with control by gesture. Nothing more or less.