Apple Vision Pro Review: A Little Too Far Out

Apple Vision Pro Review: A Little Too Far Out

Worse is when the doorbell goes off while you’re in the Vision Pro and you have to suddenly take it off to run downstairs and answer the door. Contrary to what Apple might want, I find it odd to just keep wearing the headset as I move through my home.

Just the other day I was installing a smart thermostat and I thought it would be helpful to wear the headset and place the installation’s video walkthrough in a virtual space next to the thermostat so I didn’t have to keep going back to my phone. Then I thought about having to wear the Vision Pro and look through the passthrough screen, which sometimes resembles a 720p display. Oh and the fact that there’s no official YouTube app yet (there is a third-party option). I just watched the video on my phone instead.

My wife doesn’t like it when I’m wearing the Vision Pro. She says it makes me “very unapproachable,” and even though Apple has a feature called EyeSight that simulates your eyes on the exterior screen of the headset, she says it’s difficult to notice it. When she does, “It feels like I’m looking at your eyes through a screensaver.” I might be enjoying my time in the headset, but it’s isolating for her.

I can go on and on. It’s surprisingly bulky to stuff in a backpack, not to mention the travel case Apple sells is $199 and adds even more bulk. It’s silly that the Zeiss prescription inserts cost so much, and that there’s no way to set up a second user’s profile in case someone else in the household wants to use it. (There’s just a rudimentary guest mode.) I also don’t love the faint glare on the lens that seems to only appear when you’re watching a movie or show in a dark setting.

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

Most of all, I’m not sure about how Apple is positioning the Vision Pro. Should the future of computing be a bulky headset strapped to our heads that isolates us from the real world? Should I walk around my home capturing spatial video of my dog all the time? Or have conversations with my wife as she stares at my digital eyes? I am sure a loyal Apple and VR fanbase is loving every minute inside the Vision Pro, but I fear the simplest barrier of having to wear a bulky thing on the head is enough to put off the vast majority of consumers.

Yes, the Vision Pro is very much a first-gen product and one that’s not really intended for the general public—it’s more like a public developer kit. Naturally, components will get smaller, the technology will improve, and hopefully, the price will go down. The hardware is monumental, and the capabilities of the Vision Pro are incredibly impressive. But I think we are quite a ways away from the future Apple is envisioning.

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