Reactions to the Apple Vision Pro

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but does this headset have to almost always be connected to a wall plug or to a big battery pack because it will only run for an hour or maybe two, if not connected? IMHO, THIS IS NOT A PLUS.

And IMHO, the pricing is way off the charts. And how many gamer kids will be able to save up $3,4999.00 plus tax from their allowance money to pay for it? I think that kids could be an be an even bigger potential market than adults, but this price is prohibitively expensive for anyone at any range. Mark Zuckerberg had to drastically lower the cost of their recent second generation headset:

“ Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the Meta Quest Pro, the company’s mixed and virtual reality headset focused on business users, will be getting a substantial price cut, going from $1,499.99 to $999.99. Likewise, the 256GB version of the Quest 2 will be going from $499.99 to $429.99.”

I agree on the battery life and price…but in order to be an actually useful device it needs the CPU cycles it has and that drives the battery life and cost. I’m guessing that it will also run off of a usb-c power supply if you don’t need to move around. Like the iPhone and iPad…they watched the market develop and came out with an admittedly expensive device tha5 seems actually useful. They’ll sell all they can make to geeks and well off customers…but getting it cheap enough for teens to get on their own is gonna be hard.

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Re the Vision Pro headset battery:
My guess is that serious users will need at least 2 batteries. You will recharge one while using the other. If the time for a ‘full’ recharge is less than the drain time, then 2 should suffice. However, if the recharge time for full usability (which, like EVs is less than 100%), then you will need multiple batteries to ensure that you are always ready to go.

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Like most Apple “innovations” (not all; Thunderbolt and AFPS are truly advancements), the announcements today are for hardware I have zero interest in. Good luck to early adopters and Apple itself.


So during the keynote the goggles were touted as having this awesome resolution on their internal 4K displays. Specifically the claim was made that one iPhone pixel contains 64 goggle pixels. I guess that was supposed to sound impressive, but then the math doesn’t quite work out for me.

The 64x means the width of a goggle pixel must be 1/8 of an iPhone’s. That’s impressively small, but I usually also hold the iPhone about 1’ from my face. If we divide those ~300 mm by 8 we end up with an equivalent distance from eye to googles display of about 38 mm. But the presentation mentioned actually that these displays were just 1" from the eye. So that would imply angular resolution in the goggles is in fact lower by a factor ~1.5. I’d expect better than iPhone “Retina” resolution in these $3500 goggles, not worse. What am I missing?

And FTR, Vision Pro is just a silly name.

I have failing eyesight and can see some use for this technology in improving my vision, especially at plays and symphonies. Since having new lenses implanted I have found it impossible to see through binoculars. The implications for aiding eyesight are intriguing and most welcome, like the way hearing problems can be helped by EarPods. Hopefully the tech will advance to the point where you can buy these things without a computer.


Ben Thompson got to try one, and he’s impressed with the technology. But he’s also upfront about the negative implications, which were a lot of what we were talking about in SlackBITS during and after the presentation.

Personally, I’m deeply ambivalent. I think the technology is astonishing, and I believe Apple has put a great deal of thought into Vision Pro, and I believe that AR glasses may be the future of screens… But simultaneously, I think the Vision Pro is the wrong approach because, as Thompson points out, it’s really a VR device that makes AR possible.

(To be clear, VR is virtual reality, where you’re completely immersed in a virtual world and have no idea what’s around you in the real world, and AR is augmented reality, where digital objects appear in and potentially interact with your view of the real world. I believe VR is hugely problematic, whereas AR has great potential to help us navigate our surroundings more fluidly.)

From what I saw in the demo, the Vision Pro isn’t really AR anyway; it’s virtual screens. It takes over from your Mac and iPhone and iPad. And while Apple acknowledges that it’s utterly creepy to have someone wearing one of these in the room with those who aren’t (the Eyesight features puts a virtual representation of your eyes on the face of the Vision Pro), it’s still profoundly off-putting and wrong. You think it’s annoying when someone is looking at their phone instead of interacting? This is a thousand times worse.

The only place where I felt the Vision Pro was potentially better than the alternative was in gaming, which already tries to be immersive and is already responsible for significant social ills. (We’ve seen marriages disintegrate because one partner—usually the guy—was more interested in gaming than the relationship. And we know a kid who was so incapable of not playing video games that he blew up his academic and employment future by failing to get actual work done.) So, yay? Let’s make gaming even more addictive and closed off from the real world.

The experience of watching a movie could also be improved through the total immersion made possible by the Vision Pro too. But that too feels lonely. We’re probably weird, but Tonya and I watch all TV together, and the concept of one or both of us cut off in a Vision Pro is horrifying. Even going to a movie theater is still social.

I also thought it was heartrending to see Apple tout the new mental and vision health features in the Health app, which encourage things like socializing, going outside, and not holding screens too close, and then unveiling a device that can only be used in a constrained indoor space with screens that are an inch from your eyes.

I would have preferred to see Apple feel its way into AR with normal-looking glasses that were extremely limited in what they could show and relied on a paired iPhone, much like the Apple Watch. Then Apple could have improved on those over time rather than starting with what is essentially a “Ready Player One” device.


Or playing with their watch instead of continuing to talk with you.

I think a lot of people have become more than neurotic enough. I’d wager we need more actual human interaction, not more devices between us competing for our attention. 1 out of every 4 children in public schools in CA right now is on some kind of ADHD/anxiety medication.


Yeah, I would like to know what it is like when more than one person in a room has the AVPs on. Can you interact? If it gets cheaper, I can see it being a nice way to have a big screen and easier to move, but I am always watching movies with someone and rarely alone. And the fact that they have to be specially fitted with corrective lenses makes it less likely to be passed around and shared.

Very cool, and I am impressed with the technology and design. I know some people will buy them, so I would like to see real world use.


One of the things I think the “social isolation” discussion has left out is the way in which social interaction is defined almost entirely as in-person. Yes, it’s annoying when someone is absorbed in their phone when they’re with you – but it’s pretty awesome to be somewhere by yourself and be able to message people, interact on a Discord server, play a multiplayer game with a group, and otherwise have social interaction that would be impossible.

I’d be annoyed if watching a TV show with my spouse came down to both of us having headsets on – but I’d be enjoying it if she was on a trip somewhere and we couldn’t be physically together (yes, I know it’s possible to do that without the goggles, but that’s true of just about everything the goggles can do).


My concerns echo Adam’s. So much of contemporary life is isolating, people taking elevators to car parks, driving to work, another elevator to office and back again. I see these new housing developments skirt our cities where young workers live like this, target Vision Pro customers for sure.

Does this help us connect to our planet or each other? No. The opposite. So much of new strands in technology are now worrisome, from AI to this, primarily due to how badly we have managed the impact of social media.


FWIW, my wife and I have totally different tastes in most TV and movies, and regularly watch on different TVs. Because they are in adjacent rooms, I watch on Apple TV, listening with earbuds in, to not bother her. (There are time we watch things together, but most nights we do not.)

Of course movie theaters are social until the movie starts - at least as somebody who may be sitting by, I hope so.

I could see this as being good for live theater performances as well. I remember when COVID-19 started that the Globe Theater was showing some taped performances for free, and I watched a couple of them. Recorded in a way that allowed a more in-the-theater experience for plays, musicals, opera, ballet, concerts - that might be an interesting use-case.

I have absolutely zero interest in this product, but perhaps a younger version of me, who hasn’t already invested in audio/video equipment, might be interested for this purpose.

We have something similar, where my wife, daughter, and I will be watching different things on different screens, but in the same room with each other. I like that better than having us scattered around the house.

(Now I like it even better when we’re all watching the same thing but that is difficult and has become more so recently [sniffTed Lassosniff])

My larger point is that I think there’s a bit of “get off my yard” feeling in the analyses of social isolation that don’t take into account that being online with people is social interaction.


I was surprised that the battery life is so short; I hadn’t realized AR would gobble so much power.
I am just starting research for a magazine article on AR/VR, and one issue that goes unmentioned so far for Apple Vision Pro is cybersickness, which has long been a problem for headset users if they move around while using the headset. That would be something to watch for.


I was extremely skeptical of a VR headset prior to Apple’s announcement. I hate wearing glasses (I have contacts) so a headset seemed even more annoying. I had zero interest in any of the existing devices I’ve seen, which seemed like pointless toys.

That said, being a science fiction aficionado, I have been intrigued by the concept of VR for decades. It is limitless and could change everything, if there’s a way to actually do it comfortably.

The two key takeaways I got from Apple’s launch were:

  1. Premium everything. By going with tons of sensors, cameras, high-res screens, sound system, EyeSight, responsive CPU, etc. Apple has eliminated just about all the problems from existing headsets. You can actually read fine text, which means the headset is good for real work. It’s so fast and immersive, you don’t get seasick and the design and light weight (hopefully) means no headaches. EyeSight means others can see you, so you’re not so isolated. While not perfect and not as simple as mere glasses, it’s as good as today’s tech can make it. All the existing goggles compromise too much to make them anything more than toys. Apple’s headset isn’t cheap, but it’s not outrageous given the tech. If it’s not for you yet, think of it as a concept car – it will show the way and establish the minimum hardware/software required, just like iPhone did for smartphones.

  2. I really got the feeling during the presentation that Apple has thought this through properly and is launching it as a new platform. It really is “spatial computing” and not VR/AR headset. Look at how Apple even went so far as to isolate eye movement from the underlying software so that apps/websites can’t see where you’re looking, only what you click (for privacy). That’s amazingly deep and far-thinking and typical Apple. While I’m not completely sold that this is the end-all of computing and will replace the smartphone, I am intrigued and curious, and I do see use cases of this expanding into a real category. It could be an adjunct, like watch, or a niche category where certain tasks that work better in VR end up pretty much requiring a headset (think collaborative design like the Alfa Romeo car Apple showed in the demo).

As for those thinking that wearing a headset around looks silly, I think back to the mocking that the original AirPods got. People thought the white stems looked ridiculous, and yet now they’re everywhere and no one cares. It does seem weird now to think of people wearing goggles, but it could be normal in a few years, and when that happens, more and more people are likely to try it and find uses for it (and by then the prices will be way lower).

I’ve gone from skeptic to really wanting to try this. At this point it’s way too new to see if it would be something I’d use for a few hours a day or just occasionally, but the fact that it can be used for actual work and possibly make me more productive, plus providing unique entertainment experiences I can’t get any other way, makes it seem viable. And that’s now, before developers start coming up with fantastic new uses.


I have to take my glasses off in order to read, so that would not be a problem for me to use the VisionPro. However, I can’t see any way, shape, or form, I would need it, let alone want one. Of course it could be Apple’s desire is to eventually eliminate all Mac computers and replace them with various sizes of the VisionPro.

I have read a few reviews from people (Joanna Stern, Ben Bajarin, Matthew Panzarino) who have had the demonstration and none of them said anything about motion sickness at all, and Matthew Panzarino and Ben Bajarin specifically said that they never saw the lag that you see with other VR headsets that may be the cause of motion sickness.

If you have experience with VR at all then you know that the two big barriers most people hit are either latency-driven nausea or the isolation that long sessions wearing something over your eyes can deliver.

Apple has mitigated both of those head on.

Apple Vision Pro had little to no latency, and I could easily walk around the room, interact with objects, and had no disorientation. Beyond no latency, it was also extremely high resolution. While you knew it was a video and not an actual lens, it felt extremely close. This is due to the just more than 4k resolution in each eye. Still, yet another custom-designed piece of Apple silicon called the R1 that is responsible for processing all the camera and sensor inputs to eliminate latency which is the main issue most who have had dizziness, nausea, and other problems when trying VR.

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Actually, in her WSJ article, Joanna Stern complained about the headset feeling heavy and making her feel a bit nauseous when switching between VR and AR.

My disappointment with the goggles is related to their software. The hardware might be awesome, but consider myself underwhelmed after seeing Apple demo their own apps on these goggles.

When the goggles were taking longer to launch, we were told it’s because Apple is tweaking things “to get it just right”. When they were rumored to come in at a staggering $3k we were told that was because Apple was making sure “to get it just right”. And we were constantly reminded that AR is not VR and that in fact AR will make everything so much better. Tim Cook himself couldn’t talk it up enough even before he had anything to show.

So naturally, I thought this meant AR would offer some kind if revolutionary new interface paradigm when it comes to app interaction. And so when Apple yesterday showed their own apps and you realized AR = displaying what is now on my Mac’s screen just as a perfect rectangular imprint on top of what I’d otherwise be seeing if I weren’t wearing ski goggles, I was disappointed to say the least. And this not just with some 3rd party app that had only recently been ported, no, with their own apps for which they’ve had years to consider how to create an entirely new way to interact. So bottom line is I can still get a 5K 27" display for ~$1200 and do Keynote on that (including sharing it over Zoom so I can “enjoy” seeing my coworkers’ nodding heads as they marvel at my slides as in the silly marketing pic below), or I can now get $3500 ski goggles to do the exact same Keynote on that. The only difference perhaps being that instead of clicking I now get to tap my index finger onto my thumb. That to me was underwhelming. After all the years of hype, I was really expecting to see something unimagined before or perhaps something imagined but now done for real (as a reminder: Minority Report came out in 2002). Overlaying my Mac’s screen onto the view of my couch is not that no matter how much hardware and horsepower that requires.

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That’s fair, but relatively little of the Vision Pro demo seemed to involve interacting with other people online, just the FaceTime example. There, the Vision Pro users are represented by an avatar, not even a direct image. I’ll be very curious if it avoids the uncanny valley.

Well, actually, I do. As a runner, I find it off-putting when you can’t communicate with someone near you because they have AirPods in. I sometimes say “Hi!” a little loudly to see if I can make them startle. It’s like in Star Trek when the characters wander around a Borg ship and get ignored completely.

Tonya was telling me that at Cornell, well over half the students are looking at their phones, often with earbuds in, while walking around campus.

Apple was very careful not to show a Vision Pro being used anywhere but in a clean, constrained indoor space. Just wait until you step on a Lego barefoot while using one. Someone mentioned on the MacAdmins Slack that all the actors looked like rich people in dystopian science fiction movies.

As I noted above, the Vision Pro seems largely about replacing screens. Apple said you could put your Mac screen into it and get a 4K display, which sounds good on the face of it, but I’m looking at a pair of 27-inch screens right now (one of which is a 5K display), so one 4K display is a distinct step backward. And putting it on (taking off my glasses first) is going to be a lot harder than pulling my iPhone out of my pocket, so it’s going to have trouble competing with that screen too.

But heck yes, I want to try one. :slight_smile:

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