Will the Apple Vision Pro Really be the Productivity Booster Some Predict?

Some predict that Apple Vision Pro will be a big productivity booster due to a huge virtual viewing screen and the ability to work in various virtual locations. But will it?

See my blog post, Apple Vision Pro — Productivity Tool or Expensive Consumption Toy? for a different take.

What do you think?

1 Like

I’m sure some people will claim to love it for work use, but in my experience bigger and more screens does not equate to more productivity (as you mention in your post). I have a big monitor in my home office, two monitors at work, and I’m most productive sitting in my living room working just on my laptop.

This does make me think. Last night my wife was staying at her parents so I went and took in a movie (A Haunting in Venice) by myself at the local theater. The theater was mostly empty so it was actually a very similar experience to what entertainment on the Vision Pro would be like. I just can’t imagine it being as satisfying though. Whether in a theater or sitting on the couch watching TV with my wife or playing PS5 with my dog curled up at my feet, there’s something… human about those experiences that doesn’t feel like strapping on a headset and being completely immersed would recreate. That might not make sense, and I might feel differently once I try.

Productivity does not mean having more, bigger, and pervasive virtual screens and buttons to click. There may be niche applications that benefit, where workers such as air traffic controllers need quick access to multiple screens. But that’s not enough for Apple to build a business on. For now the thing is an experiment where the study subjects pay to include themselves.


My most productive times were on long haul flights or in temporary office spaces (including coffee shops and the like). Obviously no large screens there, just a laptop. What these places have in common is that there is a low level of distraction, but not NO distraction. A low level distraction is known to boost productivity (Yerkes-Dodson Law). Many offices have tons of distraction, just the thought that a colleague wanders by with a question can be enough to affect focus. On the other hand, working from home (with no kids or spouse in the house) offers no distraction at all and can be deadly for focus.

So it is not the huge virtual screens that could boost productivity. It seems to me that with Vision Pro one could control the visual environment such that some distraction is available at the optimal level. Isolation as you describe in your article, is from the outsiders point of view. Isolation from the user’s point of view is great for controlling ones environment better.

Time and experience with the device will tell…

1 Like

I can’t wait for those background noise apps to make a 3D cafe environment to accompany the cafe sounds!

1 Like

I don’t know. A device that has to be individually fitted to each employee, at an Apple Store, would be a non-starter anywhere I have ever worked. And wearing a “nearly” one pound device 3 or 4 inches forward of your head’s balance point may be too much for some people.

The AVP appears to mainly be an advanced monitor. And I don’t see how it evolves into the “looks like normal eyewear” smart glasses everyone is expecting in a few years. The use case for the AVP doesn’t appear to be anything that I would need while driving down the highway.

Right now AVP v1 may be an awesome Mac that will allow me to look at spatial video that I take on my new iPhone 15. But cannot share with anyone else.

1 Like

In a recent TV interview, Tim Cook proudly mentioned that he watched the entire Season 3 of Ted Lasso on AVP.

Now the thing that says to me: Tim Cook is identified as the primary advocate for creating the AVP and shipping it. He had one of the ultimate PR moments to promote the AVP and set expectation of what it is for and how to use it. What did he promote?

Using it to watch a tv show.

(I guess we should be glad it wasn’t porn. Afterall, the Internet “knows” that all new radical technology starts with adoption by the porn industry first. No joke, they were streaming video online before anything else even thought it was possible.)

1 Like

A 3D cafe, complete with people and ambient noise, where the barista calls out your reminders instead of peoples’ names. :smiley:

Reportedly, possibly mythically, that was one of the driving forces behind the adoption of VHS.

1 Like

Came across a relevant screenshot of a recent rejection emali from an Andreessen Horowitz to SimulaVR. They believe in a big productivity market but not enough to fund one of the more ambitious startups targeting the high end. Which could mean they aren’t actually confident a larger market is there, or that Apple and Facebook are going to gain too much of it. Or that the productivity use is aspirational and it’s really a huge entertainment hardware market, which would also be bad for Simula since price-sensitivity will become an issue early in the growth of the market.

Reading between the lines is interesting.

No surprise VC’s don’t want to invest in a niche product with a primary user target of hackers that want a VR version of a Linux desktop and launched through hacker forums.

I’m surprised the letter is so polite, but VC’s are notorious for always leaving themselves wiggle room.

Apple and Meta are “sucking the air out of the room” for the next year at least. I wouldn’t want to be near any hardware startup trying to avoid getting hit by the crossfire.

1 Like

I’m looking forward to this with a different take on things.

I feel shut in when I’m working on projects on my computer (for me, a project means I’m using multiple apps and switching around).
I like to put things on different screens, to separate things out and order them, but I also don’t want to have multiple screens in my living room for aesthetic reasons.
AVP offers the potential let me take up space, organise my apps in a way I cannot (or refuse to) do at the moment.

This won’t directly affect my productivity, but it may directly affect how much I enjoy interacting with my computing device and positively impact my mental health. This may help productivity.

I’d only use it at home though for hobbies, since I doubt it’ll get into my school environment for quite some time!

1 Like

I’ve been around the Apple ecosystem long enough to know that predicting the effects of any change is a game of chance. Particularly for new product categories.

Well I am probably the posterboy if this works.

I work full-time from home in an occupation in which I need multiple sources of information accessible simultaneously so I can quote several sources and write new content at the same time. Thus my home office has six 32" monitors.

If Vision Pro works as promised I might consider it for use when I travel. But I really doubt that I or many other users would want to wear the Vision Pro 8 or more hours per day for true home office work; from the reviews I have read almost everyone who has tried it similarly agrees that it is not practical to use it more than 2 hours at a time.

And even if that were not an issue, I need access to the multiple screens when I do work-related Zoom calls; and I am certainly not going to do those calls wearing a Vision Pro!

I would love to work in a world, where I am not limited by the borders of my monitors. It would be like those crime boards on TV, with information and string, but the size of a gigantic wall with every bit of information clearly visible but with tasteful metadata carefully hidden.

I would love to see applications like Tinderbox and Curio, escape the confines of 27 inches. Why not a widescreen monitor? Sure,Why not a virtual screen the size of a wall.

I am not sure of the reality of the situation. How comfortable would wearing a VR headset be? I recently played a VR game with a moving platform and a low resolution headset. I am not sure what caused the motion sickness - the low resolution or the moving platform or both.

I remember watching Tom Cruise in Minority Report, running and flipping “pages” while inside a virtual computer. Interesting visuals, inefficient design. I would be interesting to see what VR brings and the changes in design language that Apple creates.

As for watching movies or games. I can not say that I am really that interested. I watch movies for the story and I have a hard enough time with games in a 2d environment. But, what kind of educational content could be provided with augmented reality or watching a procedure in 3D? What if I could ask an AI interface to show me the different species of bird/tree etc… and delineate the differences in real time as I walk in the rain forest or take me through a surgical procedure where I can have the anatomy labelled, or see in X-ray vision.

I of course would be happy if I could have really large screens , while wearing a device that is not too heavy and does not make me sick.