Vision Pro - so many questions
Apple Vision Pro is finally unveiled! As a surprise to no one, it looks absolutely spectacular. However, for every rumor and question that were addressed today, new ones arised, leaving me very confused.
This post was written in a rush to get my thoughts out before they faded, so the text will be a bit rough. Also, since it’s past midnight here in Sweden, I am writing while actually falling asleep. Any feedback and proof reading you can provide me with would therefore be most welcome.
That’s such a strange name, given how Apple usually name their products. Wouldn’t Apple Vision have been more in the style of other product lines, like the Apple Watch and Apple TV?
Also, why Pro? Is it due to the high price? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to release this first version as Apple Vision and later release a powered up Pro version?
To my knowledge, this is the first time Apple has gone with Pro for a brand new product, and given how rough the first few versions of a new product line usually is and how each new iteration will bring major improvements, naming it Pro now just doesn’t makes sense to me…except if the explanation it the price.
All in all, I think Apple Vision would have been a much better name.
Field of view
When watching Apple announcements, I try to pay as much attention to what they say as what they don’t say. When announcing Vision Pro, they were careful to mention its insane (insane!) resolution, but stayed silent on other things…like the field of view.
This makes me wonder what FOV it will provide. Apple talk about deep immersion, but that doesn’t have to mean that it covers the entire FOV. They could also fade out the virtual world near the edges and fade in the real world, then replace the real world with darkness when you increase the level of immersion.
Given how limited the FOV was on the Microsoft Hololens, and how that reduced its wow-factor, I would have preferred to hear more on this. I hope that people at WWDC start sharing more information soon. I’m truly curious why Apple didn’t take the lead on this instead of leaving so much room for speculations.
Another thing Apple kept vague during the announcement was the tethered battery pack and the chord that goes from the headset to…your pocket? I understand that they don’t want to focus on these parts of the headset, but once again…what are they not saying?
They said the reason for having this external, tethered battery pack was to move weight from your head, and while I’m sure that is a wise choice, I would have loved more information. For instance, how big is it? how much does it weigh? What does it look like?
Also…is this external battery just a way to distribute weight, or does it also have to do with…
Another thing that I can’t remember getting information about is the battery life of this external battery. Once again, the same way Apple prides themselves with the battery life of the new 15” MacBook Air, my spider sense starts tingling when they don’t mention battery life.
I can only imagine that powering two insanely high-resolution screens isn’t cheap, so I really wonder how long you will be able to use this visor on a single charge.
Since the tethering process looked so slick, is the idea to bring a bunch of batteries with you, so that you can just easily switch out one battery with another? How will that work when you want to enjoy a movie on that airplane they used as an example? Bring another battery as replacement? Two? Ten??
I think Apple not talking about battery life says a lot about it…and I’m not at all sure it tells a good story.
Having a huge, virtual TV in your living room or a 4K monitor floating over your MacBook looks amazing, but did Apple mention how Vision Pro will handle different kind of windows?
For instance, while some apps work great floating in space and some will blend in with the real world, will the new virtual and gigantic TV screen of yours follow you around as you walk around and move as you tilt your head, or will you be able to pin it to a point in the physical world and give it a fixed position?
With a price of $3.500, the Vision Pro is a premium product that will probably not become mainstream for many years. I’m aware that not even the iPhone was a smash hit from the start, but unless Apple aims to bring the price down for the subsequent versions, the Vision Pro will be a niche product for the foreseeable future.
So, while the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch have amazing low price alternatives for the entire family, this is not true for the Vision Pro, which for a long time will be exclusive to the professional market, which is perhaps why they named it Pro…duh.
What will this mean for the ecosystem of apps that are needed to make this a must have device? What kind of companies will put a lot of money, time and effort into building apps for a platform that will be used by a very small amount of people for many years to come? I would hate for the Vision Pro to suffer because there is just no point in creating exclusive experiences for it.
Vision Pro will start rolling out in 2024…starting in the US. This means that we will most probably not see the device on the European market for at least 18 months.
Why so long? Why show so much of a device that is so far away from being launched, giving companies like Meta a chance to grab the best parts of the various UX that are now presented? I know that Apple mentioned filing over 5.000 new patents for this thing, but it still seems strange to give the competition so much time to react.
I understand that now that the cat is out of the bag, Apple can start talking more open about it and team up with developers to craft the future. I just wonder if waiting with announcing this until they could say that it starts selling TODAY was ever an option and can’t shake off the feeling that this was a forced announcement.
Can it be that Apple felt the pressure to announce it due to all the rumors and high expectations? Was this a forced decision, to take lead and put an end to all rumors and get a chance to set the narrative? Did Tim Cook want to announce this now to make sure that it’s released before he resigns as CEO (which many speculate is not far away) to end his time with a new milestone? Questions, questions, questions.
Finally, with the release so far away, how will Apple handle WWDC’24? What will they show? I guess they can’t announce a 2nd generation headset, since the first one will barely have begun to sell. I also assume that they can’t announce visionOS 2, given how little time visionOS 1 will have been out.
I said it once, and I’ll say it again. Questions, questions, questions.
Although the Vision Pro looks amazing, I have sooo many questions. But all in all, I think the device looks absolutely amazing and can’t wait to try it out. I would love to hear what you make of all of this.