radical Insights.

Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.

Apple’s Vision for the Vision Pro.

Jun 13, 2023

“$500? Fully subsidized with a Plan? That is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine.”

Those were the words barked by then-CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, after Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone on June 29th, 2007. As the saying goes: Famous last words. The iPhone went on to become a game-changer in the smartphone industry. Similarly, Apple’s recent release of the $3,499 Vision Pro headset has received mixed reactions due to its high price tag. Nonetheless, early reviews have praised the quality of the hardware, the user-friendly interface, and the immersive experience. As an avid Apple user, I am confident that Apple will continue to innovate and refine the product to make it more accessible to a wider audience.

The real question is how we will use this device and what impact it will have on our lives. The Vision Pro has great potential for professional use, such as in medical imaging, design, and data visualization. However, the bigger issue to me is user acceptance. Apple’s promotional photos depict individuals isolated from the real world, lost in their headsets. AR/VR technology is inherently anti-social, and how users will integrate it into their daily lives remains to be seen.

In Apple’s vision for the future, you lounge on the sofa, goggles strapped to your head, working on a presentation while FaceTiming with your family and scrolling through a personalized newsfeed. When your wife walks up to you, your headset momentarily turns transparent so you can look at each other into the fake eyes projected on the outside of your pair of Apple Vision Pros. The moment she turns away, your environment switches back to the calming Japanese forest you picked from a near-endless list of options. The FaceTime call returns, and your family’s avatars laugh about something you didn’t catch…

It’s dystopian – and yet precisely what Apple’s high-gloss pictures and demo clips project. In the end, this might be the much bigger hurdle to overcome, rather than the (currently) high price. (via Pascal)