Vision Pro: Head in a Box is the Problem

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What a garbage article. He interviews someone who has never tried the Apple product “Tuong Nguyen, a director analyst at the tech analysis firm Gartner” and pretends his experience with other headsets is valid criticism of Apple’s headset. I would listen to criticism from someone who tried the Apple headset, but I have no respect for this kind of obvious Apple hit piece.


I respectfully disagree. I think this assessment is spot on, it certainly is for me:

Something we haven’t touched on yet is the pure goofiness factor of VR. The headsets just don’t look cool. One of Apple’s promotional videos showed somebody wearing a Vision Pro headset on an airplane ride, though the most unrealistic part about that fantasy was that none of the passengers on the plane were staring at her weird, goggle-clad face. Gebbie, who recently took a trip by plane, says the devices just aren’t unobtrusive enough to become a regular thing people wear.

“I could’ve brought a headset and sat on the plane and watched Netflix on a huge virtual screen,” he says. “I didn’t, because that would be extremely embarrassing.”

I also agree that the device’s weight likely means it will be used for short periods.

Long-form video is just awkward in VR, says Nguyen. “Head-in-a-box is a snacking exercise,” he says. The ideal use time is ”a little bit here, a little bit there”—not hours on end. Realistically, as long as VR or AR headsets are such solitary, uncomfortable experiences, people just aren’t going to want to wear these devices for long.

Other than gamers, I can’t see people spending much time with a computer strapped to their heads. There will be isolated use cases but for the general public, a VR/AR headset will need to more like a pair of glasses for wide adoption. I think we are many years before camera and battery technology will make that possible.


I suspect some people have not read enough cyberpunk. The definition of “cool” or “goofy” is infinitely flexible and can change very fast, especially in particular groups. It’s not unusual for some groups (traditionally teenagers) to horrify others with their “evil ways” of clothing, acting, consuming that become widely acceptable within a short time (e.g. the bikini)

I’d feel embarrassed wearing something like the VP in anything like “public” but culture changes to accommodate new technologies that are useful enough. I already see plenty of (mostly younger than me) people walking along apparently talking to thin air without a care in the world and not seeming to be self-conscious at all. Driving, cycling or walking in the town centre I have to watch for the regular but random occurrence of people stepping out straight in front of me with their eyes glued to a screen.

If the VP becomes a cool “must have” for some people (and there are significant obstacles to that, not least cost), it won’t take long for behavioural expectations to change. The interesting thing will be whether and why it catches on: I’m not sure the world is as friendly to early and wide adoption of impressive tech as it was, for example, when the iPod was released.


I have to agree with @jcarucci. Can’t analyze a product you haven’t tested or seen. And how does this person know that everyone will be staring at the person with the VR headset on on the plane?

I’m guessing that Apple did their homework here. I read somewhere that there were 5,000 patents filed; that’s a huge investment. Also think Apple has WAY more style than Gartner…


I think as soon as someone builds an argument around “goofy” looks, they lose credibility. Remember all the memes and negative mainstream media coverage around AirPods?


Gartner is in a completely different business.

It’s going to take some time to find how the VP will be received. While those in attendance at Apple Park made it clear what they thought of the price we will have to wait to see what businesses think about it.

It’s a standalone computer, does my company allow personal devices? Can it be managed with MDM software or run all the apps that are required by my job? Who knows?

Apple probably has a good idea but the rest of us will have to wait until next year to start learning about it.

Since when? I thought they sold iPhones?!?! :wink:

Perhaps so

But Google did something very similar a decade or so ago and everyone was convinced it was going to be a huge hit because Google made it → and it totally fizzled

I respectfully disagree, some things are goofy or degrading of interpersonal relationships and our humanity. :slightly_smiling_face:

Walking around in public, or a professional office environment, with a computer attached to one’s face is goofy. It is not a given that because something is normalized it is no longer problematic. I can think of many things in contemporary culture that have been normalized or are being normalized that make us worse as individuals and as a society. Bad can be normalized, Ugly can be normalized. Rudeness can be normalized. I will not mention specifics because I don’t want this thread to digress into inappropriate topics for this forum but I stand by my assertion that having a computer strapped to one’s face is goofy and antithetical to fostering warm, vibrant interpersonal relationships and a positive organizational culture. I’ll add that we already have enough of a problem with people starring at their phones rather than interacting with each other. Computers strapped to our faces at the office or at home makes mobile phone addiction seem like child’s play.

I want to be clear. I believe there are exciting possibilities for this technology. But, for mass acceptance, and to avoid the negative interpersonal and cultural implications, the hardware will need to become far less intrusive.


Totally agree

A form factor like this may work for niche situations such as a movie theater offering immersion video.

For routine mass use a much more desirable form factor would be simply embedding the video into standard eyeglasses. Google Glasses was much better in that regard- but even there we saw much pushback.

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I’m aware. It wasn’t very similar, it was completely different. Both wearable sure but outside of that very different. How has Google done vs Apple in the smart watch market? What factors have led to Apple’s success?

The “homework” comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Based on what we know there was a significant R&D spend in 2022 ($20B+).
I’m not sure how much of that went towards the development of the headset but with over 5000 patents filed I’m assuming it’s pretty significant. Are we to assume that none of this money went towards market research?

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I think VP will - at any price point - be a niche product category and Apple fully understands this. The pricing locks out the majority of the non-tech savvy public actually wanting to own a pair of these.

I do believe eventually we will see wearable daily “glasses” that provide AR functionality that are based in part on the advances that Apple introduced this week… But I’ll be waiting until THAT version of AR devices arrives, not the Vision Pro. Not at that price point anyway.

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I can see heavy gamers jumping on this version.

“I can see heavy gamers jumping on this version.”

I am not a gamer, and am curious as to how much a top end gaming rig costs.

That’s the dream but the closest Apple could come to it was the Vision Pro. That tells me Apple doesn’t expect things to change much in the next few years.

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As some have said here, this form factor is likely to be around awhile. There are real-world limitations to what can be done to shrink this tech down, even for Apple. The number of cameras, needed processing power, etc. Even if they were to offload the computer portion of the head-set off to the separate battery pack, they’d still need the sensors and cameras, etc.

I suppose I’m thinking of this as another computer form factor. From laptop to phone to tablet, etc, it will be another option. In certain settings, activities I see it having a place at home, home office, office where it will be seen as normal and expected… similar to someone doing what we see as normal computing. But agree, in some settings/situations, it would still not be healthy or normal or social to use… And just as we see today, some won’t care and will break those norms. We’ll just have to see what happens I suppose.

But as computing device it obviously offers remarkable possibilities. I’m curious also if there will be any long-term eye-health problems? Realistically most will be using the current form factors for several more years. I expect in 2 years I’ll be thinking of an iPad update and will look at whatever Apple is offering in the headset form factor. The cost would need to come down quite a bit so I’m guessing it won’t be for me but I think in the 3-5 year time frame it will become a reasonable computing choice for more people.


I have no idea. :thinking:


One of Apple’s promotional videos showed somebody wearing a Vision Pro headset on an airplane ride…

“I could’ve brought a headset and sat on the plane and watched Netflix on a huge virtual screen,” he says. “I didn’t, because that would be extremely embarrassing.”

I 100% would wear VR goggles on a plane ride and not care one wit about what anyone else thought about me. Not that I would be rude or intrude on anyone else’s space, but if I could watch a movie in a nice environment and forget about the incredibly uncomfortable plane ride, no question I’d do that.

having a computer strapped to one’s face is goofy and antithetical to fostering warm, vibrant interpersonal relationships and a positive organizational culture.

I completely agree. The “sad divorced dad watching 3D videos of his kids in a house alone” during the promotional videos will be a real thing. I think the headset looks amazing. I also think we need to develop cultural norms around the healthy use of such amazing tech. On this, we are not doing so good. Again, I’m looking for Star Trek, not Ready Player One.