I have a rich history of ridiculing new Apple products, most of which then go on to be hugely successful. Nevertheless, allow me to deride the Apple Vision Pro. I’ll take my chances.
You’ve heard of this, right? It’s a virtual-reality headset. It starts at $3,499 (because $3500 would be too much). When you strap it to your head, you can interact with computer imagery superimposed over your view of the real world – which in your case will consist of your cluttered living room.
Of course, you can tune out the living room and just go with the computer imagery. Which, I should point out, is already available without a high-tech headset that messes up your hair and won’t accommodate your glasses. All that stuff is on your computer, just not with the illusion of 3D. It’s on any of the myriad iPhones and iPads you already possess and for which you can never seem to find the right charging cord. (And yes, the Vision Pro requires yet another proprietary cable.)
One big advantage is that you won’t need a keyboard or mouse. You interact with the device by making hand gestures instead. You might want to make sure you’re alone before doing this. You know, lest you appear to friends and loved ones as a goofy dork.
I had to laugh at one of Apple’s TV ads for the Vision Pro. You’re looking at a stunning mountain vista, and in the foreground are all these icons for various Apple apps. Awesome! Because when you’re grooving on the great outdoors, the first thing you want to do is fire up Safari or check out another dumb TikTok.
I get the allure of VR for certain games. I’ve had flight simulators on my computers for years. I tried an Oculus headset some years ago, and even with the crude graphics and crappy frame rate, it improved the illusion of flight. If they dropped a zero from Vision Pro’s price (which will never happen), and made it work with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 (ditto), I might have a look. For now, it seems like another way for Apple to monetize credulity and separate early adopters from their (apparently) easily-earned dough.
I’m undoubtedly wrong about all this. The Vision Pro will be a huge hit and in about 18 months we’ll all be agog over the Vision Pro 2, which will be wearable in the car and the gym and require yet another kind of $99 charging cable.
But really: In this age of tech addiction, should we be embracing better ways to wall off the world? Granted, the real world isn’t as nice as it used to be. But maybe that’s partly because all these devices have made it so easy to ignore.