Apple Vision Pro still has a way to go

Posted:
in Apple Vision Pro edited June 2023

The Apple Vision Pro still has a lot to be worked on before the hardware is released, with many features announced at WWDC to receive lots of attention in the coming months.

Apple Vision Pro
Apple Vision Pro



Apple's slick presentation launching the Apple Vision Pro showed off many of the features of the headset, while demonstrations of features to attendees were promising. However, it appears that Apple still has a long way to go to get all of the elements together for the final release version.

According to Mark Gurman in the "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg on Sunday, the demonstrations showed off the most polished parts of the visionOS operating system. Many elements, such as in-air typing and adaptations of core iPad apps, still need work.

There is still more to do in relation to 3D video content, third-party app support, the handling of prescription lenses, comfort, and the all-important EyeSight feature.

While Apple used a smaller team to develop the headset pre-launch, due to its culture of secrecy, it's now bringing in thousands more employees to improve the project. This includes internal testing of the hardware, though that too is still limited to senior engineers and executives.



For core apps, developers of iOS and iPadOS versions are making new editions for visionOS. Apps for Calendar, Maps, Books, Mail, and others have yet to be finished.

EyeSight, the feature that showed the user's eyes on an external display, wasn't functional on demonstration hardware. Again, Apple is now expanding the number of engineers working on it to make sure it works properly.

In initial expanded testing, it's been found that, while Apple tried to solve the weight issue of other headsets by removing the battery, the metal-framed hardware still apparently feels too heavy after hours of use. As a comfort fix, a second strap that goes over the wearer's head is on the way, but one that could be offered as a separate accessory.

For marketing, Apple will be making dedicated areas for demonstrations and for customers to select the right sizes of bands and light seal. Stores will be provided an iPhone app to scan customer faces to aid in selecting the correct size.

Some features aren't going to make it into the first release, but are still intended for future releases. While the first version will be able to support one desktop view of a nearby Mac screen at a time, future models will be capable of handling multiple displays.

The use of Personas for FaceTime conferences will apparently only be limited to one-to-one chats. In the second generation, multiple Vision Pro users will be able to use Personas in a group conversation.

Virtual fitness content and Fitness+ is also anticipated for the next generational release.

Apple is probably a long way away from its next headset launch, but it has already shifted some employees from the original Vision Pro to the newer models. Those future editions include a second-gen high-end model and a lower-end variant.

Read on AppleInsider

Bart Y
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    humbug1873humbug1873 Posts: 136member
    and I guess the original Apple headstrap will be just $299.99
    williamlondonJP234appleinsideruser80s_Apple_Guybyronl
  • Reply 2 of 23
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,661member
    Regarding the material choices, Apple doesn’t use plastic anymore unless it’s glossy white.  

    That means the frame will likely be metal.  Metal means aluminum or titanium.  Something strong and light.  

    Reducing weight is going to take years.   Glass is heavy.  They may end up the worlds thinnest glass and displays, etc. to bring costs down eventually.  

    The $1000 version may be 3-4 years away.  If ever.  
    Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 577member
    For myself the price is not an issue (I purchased my first Apple II in 1978 and paid $1200 (a months salary, pre-tax for me at the time),. That did not include the cassette recorder (there were no disk drives then) and TV needed for display.  It remains one of the best investments in my life.

    I expect to use the VP as a desktop display for a new Studio Pro I will be purchasing at the same time in 2024

    My use cases will be video, photo editing and 3-D graphics for geologic modeling (a specialized field but this would be ideal for both oil and gas as well as hard rock exploration, as well as the primary display for the Studio Pro.

    By 2026+ I expect to be using a future VP iteration as my primary entertainment (TV replacement) and computer display for all of my devices.

    A lot of ink will be spilled over the price.  But like all computers these are tools for living and working more efficiently.   VP will replace thousands of dollars of display technology (multiple high res computer displays and several high end TV's).  In addition, it will allow me to be more productive (ie. higher work product in a shorter period of time) and thus be the superior tech for my workflow.   


    Bart YStrangeDayswatto_cobraradarthekat
  • Reply 4 of 23
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 23
    thttht Posts: 5,499member
    Virtual fitness content and Fitness+ is also anticipated for the next generational release.
    I find this type of thing crazy. It's great if people are doing cardio with a headset on. Keeping on keeping on if it make you happy, but for me? Batshit crazy.

    Don't people, like, sweat? If you aren't sweating, you are not working out. If I use any headset for fitness, the straps and seals will have to be put in the wash, and there would be a rather high risk of damaging the hardware with sweat too. Those hardware parts would have to be at minimum be able to be rinsed.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    thttht Posts: 5,499member
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    If there are significant sales of the Vision Pro, there's going to be a large amount of 3rd party light seals and straps. The ear-to-ear strap looks like it only marginally reduces the feeling of weight on your check bones imo. Maybe it helps with side-to-side head movements?

    You really need a light seal that goes over your forehead, so that the weight can be carried there instead of the cheek bones or cheek muscles, and a longitudinal strap from the forehead to the back strap.

    I kind of thought Apple would have a fan in the device to drive air in and out of the light seal, or through the device, so that it keep the volume under the light seal cool and fresh too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    That top strap will be a status symbol so the wearer can differentiate themselves from people who could only afford the base model.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 23
    multimediamultimedia Posts: 1,036member
    I’d be very surprised to see the release of Vision Pro without an M3 inside.
    watto_cobraradarthekatbyronl
  • Reply 9 of 23
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,598member
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    Do we know if Apple will sell the prescription lenses in their retail stores? Do we know if the first set of such lenses will be included for free with the $3500 purchase?
  • Reply 10 of 23
    robjnrobjn Posts: 283member
    This close to launch, the hardware is locked. What we saw is what we’ll get, with only very minor changes such as to straps.

    It is curious that Apple did not show EyeSight to the media. Many people are assuming that it will look weird off angle and that it is not an actual image of you. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Most likely, Apple did not show it because they are not ready to reveal all the secrets of how it works. Others companies are going to try to copy it and Apple isn’t going to help them get started.

    Mike Rockwell revealed that the headset generates a different EyeSight view for each person looking at it. I think a key question is: how many of these different views can it generate at once and the lenticular lens cope with? My guess is that it will look incredible when 1-3 people are looking at it but might start to look a bit weird for additional people depending on the angle they are at. But maybe they really are able to create enough views that it never looks weird even if there is a crowd of people looking at it. Whatever number of views they decided they needed probably took years of work to determine and is the key piece of data that Apple will want to hold back from competitors. So I don’t think Apple are keeping this feature under wraps because it looks bad but rather because they don’t want to help others get started in copying it.
    dewmewatto_cobraradarthekatFileMakerFellerbyronl
  • Reply 11 of 23
    riverkoriverko Posts: 224member
    tht said:
    Virtual fitness content and Fitness+ is also anticipated for the next generational release.
    I find this type of thing crazy. It's great if people are doing cardio with a headset on. Keeping on keeping on if it make you happy, but for me? Batshit crazy.

    Don't people, like, sweat? If you aren't sweating, you are not working out. If I use any headset for fitness, the straps and seals will have to be put in the wash, and there would be a rather high risk of damaging the hardware with sweat too. Those hardware parts would have to be at minimum be able to be rinsed.
    It’s not only th sweat. I tried rope jumping with my AirPods Max. Almost impossible. Their weight makes it really impossible for me, the hold on my head/ears not really ideal… yes, on a treadmill it might be fine, but still the sweat. Depends if the seal will be replacable like the ear cups on the AirPods Max. Otherwise it will be quite messy after some time - sweat, make up/facial lotions/creams…
    watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 12 of 23
    While some Apps aren’t finished or shown doesn’t mean Apple is behind. It only means Apple didn’t want to demo them for some reason. It wasn’t a live event so it can’t be about the worry of something acting up mid presentation. They could be holding out on these because they don’t want to give away everything Vision Pro does before release (like give competitors ideas they can try to duplicate).

    These Apps could be anywhere from 10% complete to 90% complete. We just don’t know. Considering how big of a product launch this is (and how many years we heard about it before it was finally shown) I doubt Apple is going to screw this up with half-baked Apps or soft launches about this or that App being available “sometime” in the future. I think it’ll be ready on day one of being sold.
    williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobraradarthekatFileMakerFellerbyronl
  • Reply 13 of 23
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,974member
    Apple had a finite period of time to show the Apple Vision Pro to how many? 2,000 developers and media people in a very short period of time they had to pick and choose what they could show and Apple definitely didn’t have all day to show everything to any one person? Being six months out the hardware is finished.

    The only thing left is to polish the software, and that depends upon Apple and the developers, but on Apple side, the base foundation of the software is done, particularly the part where Apple Vision OS is compatible to all the other previous operating systems and development tools used by Apple, I don’t think this release is any different than the original  iPhone or iPad intros, however in one respect, it should be better, because Apple is leveraging everything that they’ve done in the past 16 years.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobraradarthekatbyronl
  • Reply 14 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    Do we know if Apple will sell the prescription lenses in their retail stores? Do we know if the first set of such lenses will be included for free with the $3500 purchase?
    Unless you expect Apple to give a discounts to those who do not need added Rx lenses, no, I would not expect such added lenses to be free. 
    thtdanoxwatto_cobraFileMakerFellerbyronl
  • Reply 15 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    robjn said:
    This close to launch, the hardware is locked. What we saw is what we’ll get, with only very minor changes such as to straps.

    It is curious that Apple did not show EyeSight to the media. Many people are assuming that it will look weird off angle and that it is not an actual image of you. We’ll have to wait and see.
    At Gruber’s event the VP chief said its absolute an image of you, from the exterior face step, rendered from many angles all at once for exterior viewer angles. 
    JP234watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 16 of 23
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,357moderator
    robjn said:
    It is curious that Apple did not show EyeSight to the media. Many people are assuming that it will look weird off angle and that it is not an actual image of you. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Most likely, Apple did not show it because they are not ready to reveal all the secrets of how it works. Others companies are going to try to copy it and Apple isn’t going to help them get started.

    Mike Rockwell revealed that the headset generates a different EyeSight view for each person looking at it. I think a key question is: how many of these different views can it generate at once and the lenticular lens cope with? My guess is that it will look incredible when 1-3 people are looking at it but might start to look a bit weird for additional people depending on the angle they are at. But maybe they really are able to create enough views that it never looks weird even if there is a crowd of people looking at it. Whatever number of views they decided they needed probably took years of work to determine and is the key piece of data that Apple will want to hold back from competitors. So I don’t think Apple are keeping this feature under wraps because it looks bad but rather because they don’t want to help others get started in copying it.
    They showed it in the videos and it look like quite a low resolution projection of just the eyes and eyebrows. It disappears at a quite a narrow angle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX9qSaGXFyg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btf4mN37OsU

    Here are examples of this effect in video displays:





    Those support dozens of individual view directions (10:08 in 2nd video, it says 48 views). Here's one using a printed image:



    It's a standard image that has 10 frames encoded in it and the lens displays a different part for a different viewpoint. The more viewpoints, the lower the resolution would be per view. For a basic image of eyes/eyebrows, I'd guess Apple Vision Pro has no more than 10 viewing angles with maybe a 4k front display. This would be a 400x300 image per view that maybe looks like more than this due to some interpolation with adjacent views. It looks quite blurred vs the rest of the face but won't be much different from someone with sunglasses:


    FileMakerFellergatorguybyronl
  • Reply 17 of 23
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,781member
    “…the all important eyesight feature…”

    honestly, though Cook makes a big stink about it, that’s the lamest feature of the whole device. It drives up cost, power consumption, and unit size dramatically with the outer screen - all for a facsimile of your eyes to display to try to make people believe you aren’t actually distracted by what you’re really doing - which is a worthless feature. Your wife/girlfriend is still going to force you to remove the thing when you should be spending quality time with her and/or the kids. Your boss isn’t going to believe you’re not actually browsing apple insider while pretending to work. And the color blobs being displayed while you have everyone tuned out is annoying. Would be better off just black and save the juice. 

    Everyone is going to know the fake effect and that’s what kills it. In the case of the dad interacting with his kids while refusing to take the contraption off his head/face, that’s not going to fly. The kid is going to feel unworthy of his fathers actual attention and the marital issues will abound. 

    Eyesight is literally the lamest feature. 

    Will be interesting to see if Apple doesn’t launch until one full year from now - or even Fall 2024. You just know they want this to be the big Christmas item next year. 
    JP234
  • Reply 18 of 23
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,857moderator
    tht said:
    Virtual fitness content and Fitness+ is also anticipated for the next generational release.
    I find this type of thing crazy. It's great if people are doing cardio with a headset on. Keeping on keeping on if it make you happy, but for me? Batshit crazy.

    Don't people, like, sweat? If you aren't sweating, you are not working out. If I use any headset for fitness, the straps and seals will have to be put in the wash, and there would be a rather high risk of damaging the hardware with sweat too. Those hardware parts would have to be at minimum be able to be rinsed.
    I would guess it will be useful for Yoga, stretching, Tai Chi, and maybe some specialized physical therapy routines that don’t get the heart beating too fast.  
    byronl
  • Reply 19 of 23
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,857moderator
    tht said:
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    If there are significant sales of the Vision Pro, there's going to be a large amount of 3rd party light seals and straps. The ear-to-ear strap looks like it only marginally reduces the feeling of weight on your check bones imo. Maybe it helps with side-to-side head movements?

    You really need a light seal that goes over your forehead, so that the weight can be carried there instead of the cheek bones or cheek muscles, and a longitudinal strap from the forehead to the back strap.

    I kind of thought Apple would have a fan in the device to drive air in and out of the light seal, or through the device, so that it keep the volume under the light seal cool and fresh too.
    When Apple came out with the 12” fanless MacBook a number of years back I speculated at that time they might incorporate a piezoelectric oscillator to move air through it.  Silent, lightweight and compact, such a component might be just the ticket for Vision Pro, if shedding heat becomes a problem.    
    edited June 2023 JP234FileMakerFellerbyronl
  • Reply 20 of 23
    JP234 said:
    tht said:
    That head strap better be included for $3500. Don’t nickle and dime me if you want me to use this heavy ass visor. 
    If there are significant sales of the Vision Pro, there's going to be a large amount of 3rd party light seals and straps. The ear-to-ear strap looks like it only marginally reduces the feeling of weight on your check bones imo. Maybe it helps with side-to-side head movements?

    You really need a light seal that goes over your forehead, so that the weight can be carried there instead of the cheek bones or cheek muscles, and a longitudinal strap from the forehead to the back strap.

    I kind of thought Apple would have a fan in the device to drive air in and out of the light seal, or through the device, so that it keep the volume under the light seal cool and fresh too.
    When Apple came out with the 12” fanless MacBook a number of years back I speculated at that time they might incorporate a piezoelectric oscillator to move air through it.  Silent, lightweight and compact, such a component might be just the ticket for Vision Pro, if shedding heat becomes a problem.    
    If shedding heat becomes a problem, Apple has a problem. Putting the battery in a fanny pack addressed the "exploding lithium battery in the face" problem. Wonder how they're going to address the long-term "laser beams into the retinas" problem!
    Relax, QA ensures that the lasers are set to "stun."
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