What Vision Pro Acutally Is (I think)


I’ve had some fun conversations with people about Apple’s Vision Pro in the last few days, and a few people sound suspiciously like what Steve Ballmer sounded like when the iPhone first launched.

If you weren’t around back then, there was no AppStore on the phone, you couldn’t send images over text messages, the screen was 9cm (3.5 inches), it only worked on AT&T Edge networks, you had to plug it in to iTunes to transfer contacts and music, it had a 4GB disk, it had a 5 hour battery life, and it cost $500 on top of having to buy a cell phone plan only from AT&T (unheard of at the time).

If you were to compare Vision Pro to a Valve Index or a Oculus Facebook Meta Quest, you could lodge some similar complaints. Is it the best VR device with the best games? Does it support the most frameworks or engines? Is it too expensive? What’s the point of it?

My take on this is Apple’s end game is not Virtual Reality at all - I think the longer game they are after is Augmented Reality. My feeling is the Apple Vision Pro is to [yet to be known] AR Device as a Macbook Pro is to the iPhone. My guess is if you want to start developing applications for this made up Apple AR Device, you can start now using the Apple Vision Pro as your development device.

To be clear, I have no secret knowledge about this, I am just postulating based on history and what I think is Apple’s vibe. Apple seems to like making things people use in the real world to make life more creative and interesting - in my opinion they don’t tend to make things to “escape the world”.

Virtual Reality is, at it’s core, a way to escape reality. Half Life Alyx for example, is one of my favourite games, but it was an escape.

I think as time goes on, we’ll see the Vision Pro line of products move more and more towards an every day wearable, Augmented Reality focused product - I am rather excited about that.

And as for them not talking about much about AI and machine learning, I think they said a lot back in 1987 as to where they were going - and they seem to be closely following that plan.