Apple Vision Pro, a glimpse into the future

I’ve been using the Vision Pro for a week and it is as neat as everyone says, but it’s just too uncomfortable for my particular head.

Months back, my girlfriend, Nichole and I essentially decided to skip both Christmas, and birthday gifts for each other and pre-ordered a Vision Pro for us both to use. It’s been a week now and I’ve been enjoying what it has to offer, it really does feel like stepping into the future of how we will someday be using computers!

Unfortunately, I can’t wear it more than an hur or so before its weight gets to my head. But it seems to be fine for Nichole so far, and since you have a different head than me, it may work better for you too!

Why it’s so impressive

I first tried out the original Oculus VR headset back before Meta/Facebook bought the company. While I didn’t care much about VR tech at the time, once I tried it for myself at an indie game event, it sparked my interest to the extent that I’ve been following the tech as it’s been developing ever since. The head tracking made looking around an environment feel very natural.

A couple of years ago I decided to get a Quest 2, thinking it had improved enough that I would make it my new gaming system instead of getting a new Xbox. Besides having the same weight discomfort problem as the Vision Pro, I was disappointed by how it was very much the same as the version I had tried years back. Sure the graphics were a lot better, but it didn’t feel much different.

The Vision Pro does feel different though! It really seems like the true next step for VR/AR/spatial headsets. The way the Oculus got the natural feeling of movement right, the Vision Pro makes the experience of how we do things in the environment feel natural as well.

What makes it work

So what is it that makes it work better than other headsets? It’s a combination of technologies and details that are very thought out. There is a Quest Pro headset available that has the same basic tech as the Vision Pro: high-res displays, eye tracking, hand tracking, pass-through (being able to see the real-world in the headset). But it doesn’t even compare to how they all work together on the Vision Pro.

The Vision Pro has a lot of hardware tech crammed into it. It’s not there just for the sake of being better tech, it’s the right amount of tech to do what it does so well. The screens for your eyes are such a high resolution that everything looks life-like in its sharpness. And there are enough cameras and sensors to track your eyes and hands accurately, and to make the outside environment look and feel real.

It’s combined with an interface that takes into account our real world to make it feel like it’s a natural extension of how we would use our computers in our environment. Apple is best at making our interaction with computers follow our natural way of doing things. Like the mouse and GUI for the Mac, multi-touch for screens for iPhone, and now sight and hand motions for Vision.

Is it worth it?

As cool as it is, it does have its flaws. Of course it’s pretty heavy. The field of view isn’t ideal as you can see the outside of the goggles shape as you’re looking through it. Sometimes there are reflections that show. Sometimes it’s a little blurry when using the virtual display. It’s slightly dimmer than natural light of actual surroundings.

And there’s the question of what do you do with it? It has some great immersive experiences, a few fun games, 3D movies, and the fact that you can have any kind of screen, and multiple screens, anywhere you want!

As John Gruber points out, it’s three things in one: the best VR device (minus the games that are not yet available); the best TV watching experience, better than a home theater; and a spacial productivity platform that can replace all your monitors. If all of the above is what it is/becomes, then it seems pretty worth it even at its current cost!

Try it yourself!

Even if it’s not perfect, you can just feel that it works and it’s the way things will work from now on. The core is there and it’s only going to get better as it gets refined. Developers have a new platform to develop on and having their hands on it leads to ideas for what to do with it.

Apple is encouraging everyone try it out by making demo sessions available all the time. They know most people will not buy one at its current price, but they want as many people as possible to see what makes their headset so special for themselves. They believe that the experience is so good that people will talk about it. And they’ll spread the word on it to someone who will eventually buy it. And you could decide to get a later version!

And despite it not being for my head, they do have a variety of options and ways to make it as comfortable as possible. So it may potentially be a good fit for your head. And even if you don’t plan to buy it, checking out their demo is worth it for a glimpse into the future!


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