Having recently seen headlines and read press releases from Apple about their new product, the Apple Vision Pro (Apple’s latest foray into the realm of mixed reality) I was both intrigued and somewhat skeptical. This headset, a blend of virtual and augmented reality, is touted as the future of computing by Apple CEO Tim Cook, and it certainly comes with high expectations.
We don’t usually publish reviews about devices hat we have not personally tested, (we are attempting to secure a review unit from Apple) however, it’s a unique situation. The fact that it’s not only Apple’s FIRST new product in 7 YEARS, but the fact that it’s an incredibly refined improvement on almost all other devices in its category, make me feel obligated to touch on it, even if we are unable to test the device ourselves. I’ve talked to other peers who have had access to review units, and I’m relaying here what they’ve told me as well as Apple’s press materials for the device.
First and foremost, the launch experience at Apple’s New York City flagship store had a different feeling from past launch events. I could feel the excitement through the screen as I watched about 250 people lined up for the 8 AM launch.
However, the Vision Pro is priced at a steep $3,499, and with additional accessories like a travel case and battery pack holder, the cost can soar to around $4,600. It’s a substantial investment for a device that you wear on your face, boasting 256 GB of storage and the option for prescription or reading lens inserts. Its price point certainly positions it as a luxury item, more than just a tech gadget.
One of the most notable features of the Vision Pro is its effort to reduce motion sickness, a common problem with VR headsets. The custom chip designed to cut down latency is a welcome addition, as is the surround sound with audio pods. These features promise a more comfortable and immersive experience.
The Vision Pro launches with over 600 apps and games, indicating a strong start in terms of content availability. However, its success hinges on how well these apps utilize the headset’s unique capabilities. With a battery life of about 2.5 hours and being tethered to a battery pack, the headset’s practicality for extended use is somewhat limited.
Navigating the headset is made easier with a comprehensive guided tour on Apple’s website, a thoughtful gesture for those new to such technology. The headset’s ability to be controlled using eyes, hands, and voice is a testament to Apple’s innovation, promising a new way of interacting with technology.
However, the Vision Pro is not without its challenges. Its significant price tag will likely limit its initial appeal to die-hard Apple enthusiasts and developers. Analyst predictions of up to 400,000 units shipped this year suggest cautious optimism about its market reception.
In my personal opinion, the Vision Pro’s most practical application might be in travel, particularly on flights. Its ability to provide an escape from the mundane environment of a plane, combined with features like Breakthrough mode and spatial audio, make it an attractive option for in-flight entertainment. The mindfulness app is an added bonus, providing a way to relax amidst the stress of travel.
Despite these potential applications, the Vision Pro’s price and the novelty of wearing such a device in public may limit its widespread adoption, at least initially. It’s a device that seems to promise the future of computing and entertainment, but whether it can become a mainstream product remains to be seen.
In conclusion, the Apple Vision Pro is an ambitious product that showcases Apple’s commitment to innovation. While its high price and the current limitations of VR technology might deter some, it offers a glimpse into the future of how we might interact with our digital world. For those willing to invest in this new technology, the Vision Pro offers an exciting, albeit niche, experience.