Is the Vision Pro Really Important to You? An Expert’s Report on the Problems of Daily-Use Headsets in VR/AR
So, let’s talk about the Vision Pro. Apple designer Eugene Krivoruchko explains that it’s important to offer plenty of visual and audio feedback while using it, to make up for the “missing tactile information” involved with touching a read peripheral. The highlight of a hover state can be obtained as you approach the button surface, since the finger is above the keyboard. It helps guide the finger to the target with a proximity cue. At the moment of contact, the state change is fast and responsive, and accompanied by a spatial sound effect.
Apple seems keen for users to mainly interact with the headset by simply looking at UI elements and making small hand gestures with their arms relaxed on their lap. In its developer session, the Apple designer admits to some tasks being better suited to interact directly, which can involve reaching out and touchingUI elements. There’s also support for using physical keyboards and trackpads or game controllers.
Meta is experimenting with a feature called direct touch that allows users of Quest VR to touch menu buttons or virtual keyboards. Thanks to its depth sensor, Apple is expected to be more accurate than Meta, at least until the depth sensor-equippedQuest 3 arrives later this year, according to UploadVR.
A developer session mentioned that if you focus your eyes on the microphone icon in the search field, you will get a “Speak to Search” feature. That’ll likely draw audio data from the six microphones built into the Vision Pro.
As my colleague Boone Ashworth recently reported, there’s ample evidence that people don’t want to spend lots of time wearing this type of device, for aesthetic reasons (snorkel mask for dorks), practical reasons (cumbersome, activity-limiting), and for social reasons (it’s an isolation chamber you slide over your eyes to experience an individualized simulacrum of the world instead of our shared reality). The very basic truth that the appetite for daily-use headsets is simply not there has already damaged the Vision Pro’s reception; the normally rapturous public response to a big new Apple announcement has been tempered with skepticism this time around, with plenty of people pointing out that the VR/AR market is already littered with bold-named failures.
But the rest of us? No. Absolutely not. Don’t be ridiculous. Tim Cook looks like he is confident with the invention, but it’s not a revolutionary device. It’s a rare misfire, and a sign that Apple is losing its ability to turn tech-geek novelties into normie must-haves. It doesn’t augur the future so much as suggest that Cupertino doesn’t have a clear view forward.
It is predicted that when the mixed-reality headset goes on sale in 24 years, Apple fans will line up outside the store to get their hands on it. Maybe some people will get on board.