Vision Pro‘s announcement confirmed years of exciting rumors. Apple unveiled the long-awaited mixed-reality headset at a controlled demo at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5th, 2023. While emotions were undoubtedly high — and consumer hype similarly elevated — reality soon set in. The Apple Vision Pro looks cool, but is it worth buying? Upon closer inspection, the answer might be no. You may want to avoid Apple Vision Pro. (At least for now.)
Apple Vision Pro Specs
|Product Type||Mixed reality headset|
|Release Date||TBA (Early 2024)|
|Display Quality||4K with HDR|
|Number of Pixels||Approx. 23 million|
5 Must-Know Facts About Apple Vision Pro
- The Apple Vision Pro headset doubles as Apple’s first 3D camera. Users can take three-dimensional photos and videos with a dozen cameras in and around the device. With Apple Vision Pro, even 2D images and videos from a user’s Camera Roll have added depth.
- Apple Vision Pro requires no controller. Strategically placed cameras and sensors allow users to navigate the headset’s display using simple looks, gestures, and voice commands.
- The Apple Vision Pro has an external battery pack with a two-hour battery life. Users can also tether their headset to their MacBook for more extended uses. This connectivity also helps the headset integrate seamlessly with your desktop.
- According to Apple, the Vision Pro headset has a 4K TV’s worth of pixels dedicated to each eye. This makes watching movies, streaming television, and FaceTiming with friends and family look better.
- Unique to the Apple Vision Pro is the external display the company calls EyeSight. Built-in cameras on the headset create an illusion of transparency by displaying footage of your eyes on the headset’s exterior.
The History of the Apple Vision Pro
Apple has long used its annual Worldwide Developers Conference as the forum to announce its latest developments in software and technology. Since 1983, Apple has transformed traditional conferences from boring lectures into a place to get hands-on with new, groundbreaking tech. The 2023 edition of WWDC was no different. After years of anticipation, Apple finally publicized their long-in-development mixed reality headset. The product of nearly a decade of behind-the-scenes work, the Apple Vision Pro combines augmented and virtual reality into an innovative hybrid device.
Vision Pro’s development goes as far back as 2015. Apple purchased augmented reality company Metaio for an unspoken (but undoubtedly massive) sum. Some experts believed Apple would recruit Metaio technology, researchers, and developers for a rumored smart electric car. Apple found more use for the acquisition in its AR/VR division. Over the next several years, Apple built a team of top talents to perfect the mixed-reality headset we now know as Apple Vision Pro.
Apple’s headset is technologically advanced. The company filed over 5,000 unique patents throughout the development of Apple Vision Pro. With a price of $3,499, you would certainly hope the headset had the technology to back up the cost. Product highlights include a dozen cameras, six microphones, a network of scanners and sensors, two micro-OLED displays, a new visionOS operating system, and a comfortable build with optional prescription lenses. Sure, it’s top-of-the-line but is the headset worth owning? Maybe not.
Why Avoid Apple Vision Pro?
It’s easy to get caught up in the fun little details surrounding Apple Vision Pro when you look at the specs, the facts, and the history of this mixed-reality headset. You’ll want to keep a level head and consider the reasons to avoid Apple Vision Pro instead. After the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference, we see seven good reasons to hold off on purchasing the Apple Vision Pro. Until we see some significant improvement, it might be a good idea to avoid Apple Vision Pro altogether. Here’s why.
Looking at the success of the iPhone, the iPad, the MacBook, the AirPods, the Apple TV, and so on, you’d assume Apple always knocks it out of the park with its new product launches. However, this isn’t exactly the truth. For every Apple hit, there’s a failed product that came before it. The Apple Newton PDA, the Apple Pippin console, the Macintosh Portable computer; the list goes on. Chances are Apple Vision Pro — with its attractive features — could end up on this list after its 2024 launch.
Two-Hour Battery Life
Apple treated attendees to clips from Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) during the WWDC presentation and demo to show off the headset’s 3D capabilities. Ironically, the Apple Vision Pro wouldn’t even be able to handle the film’s 192-minute runtime with its two-hour battery life. Apple made it clear that the Vision Pro could last longer when tethered to a power source. But this doesn’t change the fact that hooking up the headset to the portable battery pack only gives you a couple of hours of use.
Apple Vision Pro has an introductory price of $3,499. Few products in Apple’s product catalog cost more than this headset. While you can integrate the product into your existing Apple collection, it raises an important question. Why pay so much to work with 2D renderings of the Microsoft Office Suite or the Adobe Creative Suite on your headset when you could you an existing PC? A price such as this demands some justification.
Unfortunately, AR, VR, and mixed reality are obtrusive technology at heart. Apple Vision Pro, and other headsets, can collect more personal information than traditional screens. While this might be an issue for Meta, HTC, or Valve, it’s a serious downside for Apple. After all, this company successfully created technology that discreetly and conveniently fixes needs. The iPod and the iPhone fit in your pocket. The MacBook and the iPad fit in your palms. The Apple Vision Pro is far too big and bulky to be unobtrusive. It’s not in line with what Apple does best.
As the 2020s march on, fostering close relationships and maintaining our friendships are crucial. Can you see why the Apple Vision Pro might be an issue in this regard? Simply put, the Apple Vision Pro encourages users to isolate. It’s in the same design: strap in, zone out. This is not the kind of product that brings people together. If anything, it does the opposite. It further drives a wedge between people. This might not be the device you want to introduce to your life.
Unlikely to Disrupt
Disruptive technology is successful technology. This is how Silicon Valley operates today, and it’s how Silicon Valley has operated since. If your product or service can disrupt an industry, then you’re set for life. The Apple Vision Pro doesn’t have enough original ideas behind it to be truly disruptive. With so much competition on the market, the Apple Vision Pro needed to come out of the gate with a vengeance. Unfortunately, it isn’t spectacular, which is another reason enough to avoid Vision Pro for now.
More Affordable Alternatives
You can find affordable alternatives to the Apple Vision Pro on the market. Other tech companies have been perfecting their headsets. Apple, on the other hand, is venturing into the VR space. You can see this in Vision Pro’s high price point. Competitors like Oculus, Valve, and HTC are affordable. Until the Apple Vision Pro lowers the price of future editions, you’ll want to consider other more affordable alternatives.
Apple makes great products, but the Vision Pro isn’t all that great. Its cons outweigh the pros. No one wants to deal with the glaring issues inherent to first-generation releases. Or shell out a rent or mortgage payment (or two) for a headset they can get cheaper elsewhere. If you’ve taken these reasons to avoid Apple Vision Pro to heart, don’t feel bad about waiting for a second or third edition.
|Reasons to Avoid Apple Vision Pro|
|Apple has a rocky reputation with first-generation products — not all are a hit|
|Apple has a rocky reputation with first-generation products — not all are a hit.|
|The Apple Vision Pro’s two-hour battery life and external battery pack leave much to be desired.|
|Apple Vision Pro and its competitors are a very obtrusive technology|
|Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality all encourage isolation from the real world|
|Like other headsets that came before, the Apple Vision Pro is unlikely to disrupt the market|
|More affordable headsets with similar features and functions exist.|
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