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Is Vision Pro the New iPhone?

Whether you love or hate it, Apple is great at innovating and integrating new tech into our lives. And while seeing big announcements about the latest iPhone updates and improvements has made us a bit jaded, this summer, it looks like Apple has introduced a bona fide game changer: Vision Pro. But how common will this new technology become? Will there be a day when people use headphones instead of iPhones?

What Is It?

At first glance, it's easy to dismiss Vision Pro. At $3,499, it's an awful lot to pay for something that seems to have primarily game-playing functionality (for now). While seemingly similar headsets abound, the Vision Pro headset features something totally new called Eyesight. This feature can integrate real people into your augmented reality (AR) experience. And because real-world integration is optional, Vision Pro projects your eyes onto the outside lenses to allow others around you to determine whether you are looking at them.

This means that, unlike other headsets, Vision Pro gives the wearer the option of being isolated OR accessing VR while also being aware of the people and physical world around them.

In this photo, you see a man in his office, seeing what's real such as windows and a desk. But he's also looking at expanded screens that only exist in the Vision Pro and using virtual tools, such as a keyboard, to navigate programs. With the headset on, it all makes perfect sense. But if someone were to walk in on him, they'd see a man with a headset typing and swiping in the air.

And, significantly, with Eyesight activated, the Vision Pro user would also see this person enter the room and be able to talk to them and interact seamlessly. This was impossible with previous headsets.

A Digital Version of Your Blinking Eyes

Vision Pro displays your eyes in the lenses when someone is nearby. The effect makes the device appear transparent. That means that people in the real world can determine if the user is looking at them or the tree behind them, the same way they would when a person is wearing old-school glasses How weird is this effect? We're not sure because, so far, Apple is only showing very dark, moody photos. So we brightened up Apple's PR photos to guess what this effect might look like in a brightly lit room.

Camera and Recording Capabilities

The EyeSight feature triggers a white, fog-like pattern that animates for others to see as the Vision Pro user records, and it flashes when the user takes a picture. Like the shutter sound with the iPhone, this feature is in place to protect the privacy of others.

VisionPro for Business

As depicted below, Apple likes to show the benefits of Vision Pro in a business setting. This young woman can see and show a screen while she Facetimes co-workers. However, it's not so clear what these co-workers see. We guess that they are looking at a woman with a headset. So it may not be a comfortable option for every business-minded person yet. (But we all got used to Zoom meetings, so anything is possible.)

Two Drawbacks

Assuming you're okay with a projection of your eyes and looking odd with a headset, there's still another major flaw to contend with: these headsets come with a two-hour battery life. Anyone who remembers the early iPhones may also recall how quickly they ran out of juice and what an issue that was. Unless Vision Pro headpieces are plugged in, adoption scenarios are pretty limited. (But we suspect that Apple is already working on extending battery life.)

And for those people with hair, there are some serious style issues to consider. Will we all be wearing tight ponytails in the VisionPro future?

So, Why Should You Care About the Vision Pro?

Now that Apple has made it possible to wear a headset and walk around, you will start seeing it in the real world once it's available for sale in 2024. While the short battery life will initially limit this kind of casual use, Apple is pretty good at making improvements quickly. We predict that, in a few years, these headsets will be a popular accessory for a lot of tech-savvy businesspeople.

Once that battery issue is fixed, here are some super easy, real-life applications we see becoming more common quickly.

  • Real-time directions while walking.

  • Tours and highlights at museums and tourist spots.

  • Cost-effective design. People who need multiple screens and oversized technology may jump at a $3,500 price tag. These people will use it for design, editing, and complex projects, no longer needing to fill a room with expensive monitors and equipment.

  • Truly portable home offices. You don't bring your computer everywhere; you just get your headset.

  • The ability to find things based on RFID or tagging technology.

  • Instructional videos that play as you work on something. No need to keep looking at your phone

  • And best of all - movies on a plane.

Want Your Very Own Vision Pro Right Now?

The Apple Vision Pro will only be available for purchase at the beginning of 2024, and sales will initially start in the United States. Apple likes to create a line, so new items will be pretty hard to obtain. But if you're an early adopter, don't be deterred. While there seems to be a limited supply, you can be notified of early availability by clicking "Notify Me" on the Apple website. Good luck!


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