Even with so many demonstrated use cases, Apple Vision Pro might not yet have a purpose

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 2023
In the year 2023, it's hard to imagine there's still room for Apple to "disrupt" anything anymore, but the company aimed high with Apple Vision Pro and managed to set a new standard for what this segment can achieve.




Of course, Apple did it in a very Apple way. This new product, Vision Pro, is not cheap, is packed to the gills with features, and there's still a lot of room to grow.

Apple's showcase of the new Vision Pro headset was also busy, with the company trying to present just about every single way someone might use this expensive kit when it finally launches early next year. Whether it's in the house or at the office, Apple wants everyone to know they believe wearing a headset and making use of augmented reality is the future of "spatial computing."

Though, the company did also show in the same event why a headset might still be silly and intrusive, even as they tried to promote their first 3D camera system. A father wearing Vision Pro while interacting with kids, or at a birthday party, all so they can capture photos and videos. It's one of those demos that's hard to watch and not laugh at, even while we admit that, one day, this might just be how things are.

The easy question is to ask whether it really is or not, but it's also a question that can't be answered right now. Apple's making another expensive bet on the future, where computing will probably be not just in five or 10 years, but beyond that.

Which means for the people who plan to buy Vision Pro when it goes on sale early next year, it's all about field testing. Apple's obviously gone through rigorous tests of its own, and it believes it has rolled out the red carpet for perfect use cases.

Field testing the Apple Vision Pro

But we all know that changes when people actually get their hands on the things companies make. Even if it's simply broadening an initial idea, there's always room for evolution and tweaks to the process.

Apple Vision Pro and EyeSight
Apple Vision Pro and EyeSight

Which is essentially what Apple is doing to the whole AR headset segment as a whole, which, currently, is really being dominated by virtual reality headsets like Meta Quest 3 and PlayStation VR2. But Apple has long stood by the idea that augmented reality is the way to go, so the user isn't completely removed from the world around them.

Which is probably the best use case for Apple's Vision Pro headset, that ability to stay in the moment. Apple put in a lot of work to make sure that not only is the user aware of what's around them, even when they're knee deep in a project or playing a game, but also people who might be in the room with them, too.

It's a VR headset, but with the AR convenience.

EyeSight

The way the Vision Pro can "show" the user's eyes when someone walks into the room seems a little creepy at first, but that will go a long way to make the Vision Pro headset not completely intrusive. Yes, it will be distracting at first, but, eventually, especially as everyone in a home or office grows accustomed to seeing it, it will be just another piece of tech that some people find more useful than others.

The good news right out of the gate is that developers do seem excited about the possibilities of Apple's AR headset. With 24 hours past since the reveal, they seem more inspired than what they had in front of them with Microsoft's HoloLens headset, which definitely leaned on similar ideas.

Microsoft wasn't able to capitalize on any momentum with HoloLens at all, since it never really got any, much the same way that Microsoft's tablet initiative had no momentum until the iPad took it all.

Apple's extensive developer support will more than likely push Vision Pro into brand new territory Microsoft's effort simply wasn't able to reach.

Remember this HoloLens promo shot? Microsoft would rather you forget it.
Remember this HoloLens promo shot? Microsoft would rather you forget it.

Even Disney is getting involved, bringing Disney+ to the hardware at launch. It was a positive thing to see the company really showing off the potential for this headset as far as media consumption is concerned.

Being able to watch a football game, or hockey game, with the headset and get real-time information about players, and so much more, all while the game's still front-and-center is a cool idea. At the end of the day, it will be native support for the headset that ultimately leads to its success.

More uses cases, more adoption

But who is Vision Pro for? When it finally ships in early 2024, it will be for the folks who love being on the bleeding edge of technology, being the early adopter, and who don't mind being the guinea pigs for real world testing.

Watching a movie with Apple Vision Pro
Watching a movie with Apple Vision Pro

It's also for the folks who might want a full cinematic experience in their apartment's living room, because their space might not allow for a big TV, or a room-shuttering subwoofer, or even surround sound in general. It's for the gamers who might not want to take up the living room TV, but still want that big-screen experience.

It's for the folks who want multiple "screens" to get something done, but don't want to be chained to a desk. The individuals who want an all-in-one PC that offers a more immersive experience, instead of just staring at a computer monitor all day.

Vision Pro can even extend a MacBook's monitor, making a more routine experience a little more futuristic -- even if it is not as exciting as the rest of the experience. But, limiting it to that shows a lack of imagination.

And one day, it may be the way surgeons train for new surgeries. It may be the way coaches can show an athlete how bending a particular way might impact a muscle, or how their jump shot can be tweaked and improved upon with more detailed diagrams.

Spatial computing might not seem inevitable to everyone, despite all the sci-fi stories out there telling us otherwise. If Apple's ready to start pushing the industry in that direction, it might not be too far off.

The hardware will only improve, costs will come down, and, eventually, we'll get to a point where it's not a big headset we're wearing on our faces, but just regular glasses.

If that's the dream, Apple is kickstarting it with Vision Pro, even if it's an expensive entry point. But that's nothing new from Apple -- perhaps "Apple Vision" lacking "Pro" will make that dream more affordable in the next few years.

After all, Tim Cook said it was just the start of a whole new device category for Apple.

Read on AppleInsider
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    As an engineer, working in a manufacturing environment, I can see this for putting things together, like this:


    I realize this v0.3, but we also had command line computers before the Mac.
    tmaybaconstangbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 40
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 552member
    It may be hard to perceive because today we're used to the idea of a "power" user sitting at a desk, surrounded by multiple monitors, peripherals, and the paraphernalia. But what if I don't need to dedicate an entire room to that? What if ANY room, or desk, or table, or chair can be your office? Your studio? Your theater? Your gaming environment? 
    foregoneconclusionwilliamlondonwilliamhbaconstangquadra 610Alex_Vbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 40
    twolf2919twolf2919 Posts: 125member
    I think this is going to be one of those times when Apple should have either waited another year or two to release the AR glasses Tim originally dreamed of - or it should have started with less ambitious AR glasses in the first place - eg ones that let the iPhone do all the heavy lifting computationally.  The latter would have made it a lot easier to develop something people wouldn’t mind wearing in public.

    Alas, Apple produced a super expensive engineering marvel that nobody outside extreme dorks would wear in public.  The author says that developers are excited about this product - I bet their business bosses aren’t: who would they sell those Vision Pro apps to?  There’s no market - at least not for another year or five.
    williamlondon9secondkox2
  • Reply 4 of 40
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,960member
    twolf2919 said:
    I think this is going to be one of those times when Apple should have either waited another year or two to release the AR glasses Tim originally dreamed of - or it should have started with less ambitious AR glasses in the first place - eg ones that let the iPhone do all the heavy lifting computationally.  The latter would have made it a lot easier to develop something people wouldn’t mind wearing in public.

    Alas, Apple produced a super expensive engineering marvel that nobody outside extreme dorks would wear in public.  The author says that developers are excited about this product - I bet their business bosses aren’t: who would they sell those Vision Pro apps to?  There’s no market - at least not for another year or five.
    I’d question your assumption that it needs (or should) be used in public. When desktop computers came out, nobody complained that they couldn’t be used in public. The use case was stationary. Eventually the technology grew to make that no longer necessary. I don’t see why this would be much different…for the immediate future, VR is for the home, not walking around town.
    edited June 2023 sflagel9secondkox2slow n easybaconstangroundaboutnowMacProAlex_Vdewmeradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    hmlongco said:
    It may be hard to perceive because today we're used to the idea of a "power" user sitting at a desk, surrounded by multiple monitors, peripherals, and the paraphernalia. But what if I don't need to dedicate an entire room to that? What if ANY room, or desk, or table, or chair can be your office? Your studio? Your theater? Your gaming environment? 
    Yeah, I would agree that type of use case is the main point of the VP right now. It frees the user from a lot of the current limitations per monitors/TVs. Most of the presentation was oriented around that idea. And decades in the future you can imagine how much e-waste would be eliminated by this type of computing/entertainment approach. Postage stamp sized screens as the norm versus what is done today. 
    baconstangroundaboutnowAlex_Vbadmonkradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 40
    twolf2919 said:
    I think this is going to be one of those times when Apple should have either waited another year or two to release the AR glasses Tim originally dreamed of - or it should have started with less ambitious AR glasses in the first place - eg ones that let the iPhone do all the heavy lifting computationally.  The latter would have made it a lot easier to develop something people wouldn’t mind wearing in public.
    Standard glasses wouldn't work. It has to be sealed off. Maybe they'll get it down to swimming goggle form factor in the future. 
    9secondkox2slow n easybaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    davebarnesdavebarnes Posts: 371member
    "Everyone wants a real keyboard on their phone. iPhone will be destroyed by Blackberry."
    foregoneconclusionmike19secondkox2baconstangMacProxixoAlex_Vmattinozbadmonkradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 40
    torb9htorb9h Posts: 15member
    All this talk about reality pro ‘not solving a problem’. The iPad wasn’t solving a problem, it was a big iPhone according to everyone and look at it’s success. I think what many people can’t get their heads around is Apple have entered a market which is still in its infancy and it has revolutionised to a degree but the tech just isn’t there yet to make it mainstream. I think it had to be released now to take a bet on AR going somewhere rather than waiting to see if it gets big and being too late to the game. It builds credibility for them in this field as they continue to refine it.
    MacProAlex_Vbadmonkdewmefreeassociate2watto_cobrabaconstangjony0
  • Reply 9 of 40
    Graeme000Graeme000 Posts: 39member
    I think we're also going to see the iPhone adopt another camera so that it can take Spatial Videos and Photos. If everyone is making them, more people will want to see them through the Vision Pro. Maybe there is a way to see them on the phone too by moving the phone around the photo/video.
    roundaboutnowkestralMacProbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 40
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,905member
    "Everyone wants a real keyboard on their phone. iPhone will be destroyed by Blackberry."
    This is not that. 

    The iPhone had a clear cut mission. And it did it better than anyone else. 

    The blackberry looked outdated as soon as iPhone was announced and it started dying shortly after iPhone launch. 

    For every naysayer, there was someone who recognized the obvious. 

    With the apple headset, it really doesn’t have any clear mission or purpose. Some other people started doing this and so here’s apples take. That’s pretty much it. The really strange drawback is that immersive entertainment such as gaming is absent  from apples presentation thus far. I guess they hope developers will find a way to create purpose for it. But Nintendo tried relying on developers with the ambiguous Wii U and ended up losing support and the product died an early death. 

    The tech is neat and could be fun. But it doesn’t really seem to have an honest to goodness reason to exist, unlike the iPhone, the watch, or the Mac - or even the rumored car. 
    grandact73muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 40
    slow n easyslow n easy Posts: 362member
    twolf2919 said:
    I think this is going to be one of those times when Apple should have either waited another year or two to release the AR glasses Tim originally dreamed of - or it should have started with less ambitious AR glasses in the first place - eg ones that let the iPhone do all the heavy lifting computationally.  The latter would have made it a lot easier to develop something people wouldn’t mind wearing in public.

    Alas, Apple produced a super expensive engineering marvel that nobody outside extreme dorks would wear in public.  The author says that developers are excited about this product - I bet their business bosses aren’t: who would they sell those Vision Pro apps to?  There’s no market - at least not for another year or five.
    I’d question your assumption that it needs (or should) be used in public. When desktop computers came out, nobody complained that they couldn’t be used in public. The use case was stationary. Eventually the technology grew to make that no longer necessary. I don’t see why this would be much different…for the immediate future, VR is for the home, not walking around town.
    Thank You. I was about to say something similar. Apple never intended for this to be used walking around in public. Also, remember Google Glass? Those were glasses and they looked very dorky when people saw them being worn.
    baconstangxixosflagelbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    slow n easyslow n easy Posts: 362member
    I’m thinking I’ll probably buy it in about 18 months or so. My main use case will be for watching TV and movies. I’m sure I will also try it for Safari to see how well I like it. Probably for watching YouTube videos as well.
    Alex_Vsflagelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,481member
    I would buy it just to be able to use it as a Mac display when working on the road. Not for walking around in public but in a hotel, campground, or even a coffee shop.

    Btw, I can't help but feel that Tim forced the release of AppleVision as his mark or legacy before leaving Apple.
    edited June 2023 xixosflagelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Heck. I'll pay $3,500 just so I can put googly eyes on the outfacing display and freak people out.
    baconstangxixoMisterKitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,905member
    Heck. I'll pay $3,500 just so I can put googly eyes on the outfacing display and freak people out.
    You just know Apple will add Memoji eyes before too long. Was shocked that wasn’t presented. 
    sflagelMisterKit
  • Reply 16 of 40
    timmilleatimmillea Posts: 247member
    I will wait for the 'non-pro' version but I fear this may go the same way as the Apple Newton. The use-cases are not at all compelling.

    Thank heavens Apple did not announce a car. 
    edited June 2023
  • Reply 17 of 40
    mikethemartianmikethemartian Posts: 1,428member
    I look forward to seeing people walking around with these on.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    timmilleatimmillea Posts: 247member
    Heck. I'll pay $3,500 just so I can put googly eyes on the outfacing display and freak people out.
    You will be able to buy a copy from Aliexpress for one hundredth of the price in a few months. 
  • Reply 19 of 40
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,105member
    twolf2919 said:
    I think this is going to be one of those times when Apple should have either waited another year or two to release the AR glasses Tim originally dreamed of - or it should have started with less ambitious AR glasses in the first place - eg ones that let the iPhone do all the heavy lifting computationally.  The latter would have made it a lot easier to develop something people wouldn’t mind wearing in public.

    Alas, Apple produced a super expensive engineering marvel that nobody outside extreme dorks would wear in public.  The author says that developers are excited about this product - I bet their business bosses aren’t: who would they sell those Vision Pro apps to?  There’s no market - at least not for another year or five.
    ???? It’s not meant to be worn in public.
    watto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 20 of 40
    XedXed Posts: 2,704member
    As an engineer, working in a manufacturing environment, I can see this for putting things together, like this:


    I realize this v0.3, but we also had command line computers before the Mac.
    I don't know when it will happen, but I had a similar thought as you when I saw Apple Vision Pro demoed.
    jeffythequickwatto_cobrajony0
Sign In or Register to comment.