Apple’s Vision Pro Is Compelling… In the Future

I stumbled onto this very short clip on Youtube - Dave Letterman trying the AVP. It seemed a bit awkward at first but his expression when it ‘clicks’ is wonderful - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHDvUU0tCBY This makes me want to try it more than anything Apple has produced to promote it.

I thought this was interesting in regards to the discussion about the Vision Pro’s resolution:

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I just discovered a new use for Vision Pro.

So you know how in Vision Pro you can set yourself inside a virtual environment? My favorite is the Mount Hood one:

By default, the environment mimics time in the real world. That means if I go to Mount Hood right now, it would be dark with the stars out. That’s nice, but it’s a little creepy since you’re basically alone in the woods at night. Also, the dark isn’t great for my eyes. I need bright light.

So yesterday I turned that automatic time setting off so that it’s always light in my virtual environment. Tonight I went to watch a TV show in Vision Pro and I did it in the Mount Hood environment. It was daylight like the screenshot above. Very nice.

Now I live in Oregon where it’s dark and rainy all winter and depressing. It causes SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Some people buy sun lamps to help cope with that. Today it was gray all day and tonight it was dark, but when I put on the Vision Pro, I was at a beautiful lake with lovely sunshine all around me and guess what? My mood improved! I actually felt perkier and happier. This was a total accident. I hadn’t thought about this effect – it just happened.

Vision Pro is the ultimate anti-seasonal affective disorder device! It’s way better than a mere yellow light that mimics sunlight since it’s an entire environment. I’ll test this some more this winter, but it seems to me that putting on the headset for 30 minutes and enjoying a completely different environment could be the cure for the winter blues.

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An academic paper on this would be interesting. It would definitely be more pleasant than a tabletop 10000 LUX light shining on you for half an hour. Though it is not as bright as we currently think it needs to be for treatment of SAD, but having the vista, the sound and the calmness may give us interesting findings on effects on mood.

Another quick update: last night I had to take my mom to an hour-long concert (local band playing). I just dropped her off and waited in the car while she attended. I brought along my Vision Pro. I had downloaded a few episodes of some TV shows and movies, but I also connected to my phone’s hot spot and could stream media.

I reclined my car seat and scooted it back, fired up Vision Pro, and turned immersive mode on. It was amazing. Gone was the dark parking lot and I was at the lake in front of Mount Hood in the mid-afternoon. I opened up a 20-foot screen about 10 feet away and watched some TV. The time passed quickly and I was comfortable. It did not at all feel like I was in a cramped car, bored to death. It was a really great experience.

Occasionally I heard car doors slamming and then some cars leaving as the concert finished. My dog was in the back seat and he sometimes wanted some attention (I patted him on the head even though I couldn’t see him).

This was a way better experience than just playing with your phone while waiting in your car. It wouldn’t be useful for a short wait, like 15 minutes, but for 30+ minutes it’s a great experience. Being able to tune out the rest of the world was awesome. If I’d brought my laptop I could legitimately have done some work without anyone bothering or distracting me or seeing what I was doing. I will definitely keep this use in mind for the future!

Occasionally I wondered if it was safe being so unaware of my surroundings (a thief could have broken the car window and I wouldn’t have seen them until too late), so maybe this wouldn’t be good in a crowded or crime-filled area. But the distraction-free experience was overwhelmingly positive and ideal if you’re stuck waiting in a boring parking lot waiting someone’s flight to arrive or something similar.

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One more brief update. I went camping last week and the Vision Pro was terrific in my tiny 16-foot RV. I usually watch content on my 11-inch iPad Pro when camping, but it was fun watching movies on a virtual 100-foot screen in a space that’s less than 100 square feet!

I also got to test something crazy I’ve been wanting to try. At home I keep the Vision Pro downstairs in my den with my other computers, but I deal with my contact lenses upstairs in the main bathroom. I had been curious at how the Vision Pro would work without my hard contact lenses. Since I was in the camper, it was easy to test this.

Short story: eye tracking was clearly better without my contacts. I also didn’t experience flashes and color distortion when I rotated my eyeballs up or to the extreme right or left, so that is definitely caused by my contacts and is not part of the Vision Pro experience. Of course, I couldn’t see anything – everything was blurry and text was unreadable. I couldn’t read text even when I brought a window to within 6 inches of my face. I couldn’t even see the buttons I was staring at, but I could activate them with finger taps, so Vision Pro was tracking my eyes well.

Longer story: I also wanted to try something radical. Having worn contacts for decades, my eyes are quite comfortable shifting which is the dominant one. (I even had an eye doctor suggest I could use one contact for distance vision and another for reading, though I didn’t actually go that route.) On a whim, I took out just my weaker right contact. This mean my dominant left eye would be able to read text and see content, while my right eye would handle tracking.

Bizarre, but I was shocked at how well this worked. Eye tracking was much better! I had no issues reading text, watching movies, using my Mac in the virtual environment, and so on. I watched a 3D movie (one of the new Jurassic World movies) and it seemed great. It wasn’t radically 3D, but I could see some differentiation between elements on the screen (i.e. dino versus jungle background). I was just going to test it for a few minutes, but it was such a great experience I watched nearly an hour! Later I finished the movie with both contacts in place and the 3D was vastly better, which made sense since you need two eyes for 3D. It wasn’t as good as Apple’s immersive content (which feels as 3D as real life), but it was better than the goofy 3D glasses you get a movie theaters.

I don’t know if I’d use this “single contact” method often, but I actually might. It was comfortable and the eye tracking was noticeably better – I didn’t have to resort to my bluetooth trackpad at all. I’ll have to experiment with it more.

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You can buy an 18-carat gold version of Apple Vision Pro from Caviar Apple Vision Pro CVR : Catalog : CAVIAR - Luxury iPhones and Cases They are the folks who sell gold iphones. They don’t list a price (meaning if you have to ask, you can’t afford it), but Display Daily says it goes for $40,000
Caviar Unveils Luxurious 18-Karat Gold Apple Vision Pro for $40,000 – Display Daily

I just got a promotional email from a guy who has released an app allowing you to have multiple screens from your Mac inside the Vision Pro.

Thought you’d be interested.