Monday, Apple made a groundbreaking announcement: the release of their Apple Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) headset, priced at $3,500. As an enthusiast, I can't help but feel a mix of excitement and skepticism about this new product.
I don't think there's any debate that the Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced AR headset ever made. I don't doubt the hardware, I doubt the utility of it. Apple kept showing people casually wearing this gigantic tethered headset while walking around their home or office, and I'm just not sure that's going to pan out.
Virtual and augmented reality are amazing, especially the first time you use them, but when the magic wears off, most headsets begin to collect dust. I'm sure Apple's headset will be the "best" on the market, but does that mean that parents are going to wear this thing while they play with their kids? Does it mean people will stop watching TV and start consuming entertainment in AR? Does it mean people will choose to communicate with people as digital avatars rather than by video? I highly doubt it.
Currently, the only thing keeping VR alive is video gaming, but Apple's headset cannot connect to a Window's PC to play the best games. Like other Apple products, it's a closed ecosystem. An ecosystem without high-end games.
I'm a big fan of VR and AR, and I'm glad Apple has created a premium product that will push the industry forward. I'm just skeptical that it will ever be used like it is in their promo videos. For this headset to succeed, it's going to have to be useful. Hopefully, they will figure out a way to make AR boost productivity. I personally see the most promise in eye-tracking, but only time will tell.