First impressions of mixed reality headsets

It’s here, or at least on the way there. Apple has finally announced its long-rumored mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro. WWDC 2023. The device will cost $3,499 and will be available “next year.”

Apple calls the Vision Pro “the most advanced personal electronic device ever,” and it’s the company’s first novel platform since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015.

You can use it to call friends, host meetings, and more. play games or watch movies. Record events in real time. Alternatively, you can simply cast the app to your physical environment. No remote control required. You can control it with your eyes, hands or voice.

During the keynote, Apple tried to avoid calling the Vision Pro a “headset,” but there’s nothing wrong with the form factor. Instead, the company is pitching it as a full-blown “spatial computer” and no doubt hopes to revolutionize the way we interact with digital content.

Time will tell if Apple is right. In the meantime, here’s what our team thinks about the most ambitious hardware announcement of the last few years, or ever.

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Cool tech but social isolation

“Despite everything the Vision Pro can do and all the smart features, my first thought was that it seemed even more socially isolated than my existing gadget.

“A movie may look great, but even if it’s Apple’s own promotional video, it seems like we’re watching it alone. It will be more distracting than ever, and your own experience will be individualized and less shared than ever before.

“I think that’s until we all wear it all the time.” — Zen Love, Associate Editor

future mac

“Unlike other headsets on the market, Apple’s Vision Pro isn’t a virtual reality device designed to persuade consumers to abandon the real world and seek the metaverse. We built an augmented reality headset that we believe will become the personal computing and entertainment sector.

“The demos and features on display show that Vision Pro accomplishes everyday work and personal tasks in innovative ways that cannot be replicated on today’s computers, iPhones, tablets and TVs, or at least with the same level of immersion. I emphasized how to handle it.

“But the point is, none of the demos hinged on needing another human being to own the Vision Pro headset. We were just focused on making it work seamlessly with all the iPhones and Macs of friends, family and co-workers you already use, not the other way around.

“This is a smart move for a company with strengths in hardware design and a huge market share in smartphones and computers. Apple will probably be more concerned about how headsets will be used once the broader population adopts them.” We’ll have bold ideas about what’s going to change.” For years to come, the Vision Pro could still serve as an attractive early pitch for the headset. ” — Ben Bowers, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer

probably not for me

The Vision Pro certainly has a lot of interesting tech that sets it apart from other VR headsets on the market, but in very limited cases (like watching a movie on an airplane) ), I can’t imagine myself using it.

I personally just don’t want to plug technology into my face and am concerned about the long term effects it can have on my eyes and vision.

Also… the avatars generated for FaceTime calls look like early 2000s CGI, but I don’t want them to look like The Rock from the movies. The mummy is back. ” — Johnny Brayson, Associate Editor

It’s amazing.That’s why I’m so worried

“There was a moment in the Vision Pro presentation where a father used a headset to take pictures of the children playing. It was meant to highlight what can be played with I was left feeling uneasy.

“Does a device that locks the user in with content and interfaces really improve their life experience, or does it just make their life experience more disruptive? I think the latter.” — JD DiGiovanni, Editor-in-Chief

ambitious ski goggles

“I certainly admire the all-encompassing and improbable vision Apple has for Vision Pro, which seeks to infuse it into both our work and leisure lifestyles.

“Some aspects seem very cool. For example, Fast X On the biggest screen possible at home. Even so, this form factor still seems a bit bulky for everyday use. Widespread adoption will probably require miniaturization and weight reduction.

“My biggest question was when the presentation showed a woman using it to FaceTiming. If Apple does it right, everyone who FaceTimes with her Aren’t you supposed to have a Vision Pro?” — Steve Mazucchi, Senior Editor

Creepy, goofy, and definitely enviable

“I am deeply skeptical of products that try to bring more screens into our lives, but the Apple Vision Pro makes me consider adding yet another screen. as attractive as it is.

“This is clearly far more advanced than similar ones, but I can’t imagine actually working with this on my head. It’s intuitive enough to be easily incorporated into real life.” Time will tell if…or if it boils down, time will tell.It will be a $3,500 private cinema.” — Scott Ulrich, Associate Editor (Social Platforms)

Long time no see TV

“Given the increasingly unusual reality of watching the same series or movie on TV with a partner, it’s no surprise that the future of entertainment is personal.” — Joe Tornatsky, Creative Director

next year? Come on Apple…

“Apple helped me get there.

“I agree with the company’s overall claim. The Vision Pro is a computer, not an accessory. It doesn’t sit well with a laptop or a TV. It completely eliminates the need for such a device.”

“A few years ago, as part of our activities, problem of innovation, I wrote that the homes of tomorrow will be bound by interfaces rather than physical frameworks. Apple, the greatest taste maker of our generation, is heading in that direction. Who needs a display when everything is part of a giant canvas?

“There’s just one problem, no $3,500 price tag. We’ll have to wait a year!?

“We didn’t expect this to ship next week, but given the fact that Apple won’t even make it in time for this year’s holiday shopping season (which is still six months away), it’s hard to really keep that promise.” — Jack Seamer, Editor-in-Chief First impressions of mixed reality headsets

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