Apple’s Vision Pro isn’t the future

How an Apple Product Doesn’t Disappear: Face Timing and Counting my Breaths in the Memory of My Grandma

The year is 2025. I sit on the couch next to my husband, whom I can see whenever we talk to each other. When we aren’t talking, he fades out of view so I can focus my attention on the screens in front of me. I’m editing a presentation for work, FaceTiming with my family across the country, learning Spanish, and watching cooking demos on YouTube at the same time.

I get a notification that it’s time to meditate. The screens darken, and the room around me fades away completely so I can focus on a calming animation and count my breaths. When I’m done, the session is automatically logged in my journal, along with my daily mood: pleasant. Just like yesterday. Just as my family members laugh at something funny my mom said, the call comes back into focus. I am not sure what it is, but my virtual friend laughs along with theirs.

My colleague Lauren Goode wrote about how the successful Apple product that has disappeared into our lives in recent years was the iPad, after demoing it. The Vision Pro is the only modern Apple product that doesn’t disappear. If the device settles onto your face, it hides your eyes andsensory organs that are important to the human experience. She conceded that the Vision Pro was the first time an Apple product had made such an intrusion in peoples lives, but she claimed it was the same for all virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses.

It is one thing to put a screen on your head, but Apple is not selling this as just a screen for your face. You’re supposed to be able to walk around your home, grab a drink from the fridge, and interact with your spouse while you wear it. In fact, Apple’s promotional video portrays it almost exclusively as something you wear at home alone.

I don’t want to say that the product is a disaster for society or anything, it’s still many months away from shipping. Even if it takes off, nobody’s going to come to my house and replace my iPhone with a headset overnight. It’s very easy to opt out of this whole experience simply by not spending $3,500 on a headset.

The Apple Store: What Happens If You Give Your Phone a Screen? Reconciling Apple, Vision Pro, and Mental Health

But I also can’t help noticing the juxtaposition between the Vision Pro and its very self-centered nature and Apple’s simultaneous push for better tools to manage mental health. One of the features that Apple revealed in its keynote was to help people understand their own emotions and moods. You’ll be able to log your daily mood and moment-to-moment emotions in the Health app, and you’ll also be able to access a standard survey that health professionals use to screen for depression and anxiety.

A new app can prompt you to stop, reflect, and write a journal entry if you took a photograph or visit a place you’ve been to. It’s probably not bad to take a break from the constant pressure of posting on the internet to just write up your own thoughts and photos.

Apple has built features for years to help you keep track of and reduce screen time. If we already have a hard time getting our phones off, how will it be to get rid of TikTok when we are wearing the screen? Apple is willing to outfit us with a few flimsy tools to help us keep healthy relationships with our phones, but it’s also willing to sell you a screen to literally keep strapped to your face.

But the rest of us? No. Absolutely not. Don’t be ridiculous. This is not a “revolutionary” gadget, no matter how confident Tim Cook looks when he says it is. Apple is losing its ability to turn tech- know-how into normie must-Haves, as evidenced by this rare misfire. It doesn’t augur the future so much as suggest that Cupertino doesn’t have a clear view forward.

The Apple Store will become a hive of activity when the 3,499 mixed-reality headset goes on sale in four and a half years. Maybe some gamers will get on board.

Lauren talked to us about her experience with the headset. We also welcome WIRED product writer and reviewer Brenda Stolyar onto the show to go over all of the other updates Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference, including new Macs, and new software features coming to iPhones, Macs, Apple Watches, and iPads.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, DC Rainmaker, and @GadgetLab: Listening to Solar Keys via Podcasts and Podcasts

All of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel can be watched on Amazon Prime Video. Lauren is a fan of the website DC Rainmaker. Mike likes the book by Alex Ross.

Brenda can be found on Twitter @bstoly. Lauren Goode is on the social media website Michael Calore has a social media account. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab on Twitter. The show is produced by a man named Boone Ashworth. Solar Keys plays our theme music.

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