A select group of reporters had the opportunity to experience Apple Vision Pro and reported weight distribution issues.
- Apple supervised the demos closely.
- Testers had the same complaint: you start feeling the weight soon after putting it on.
On January 16th, Apple gave a handful of reporters the chance to try their upcoming Apple Vision Pro ahead of its release on February 2nd.
I don’t think the device needs much of an introduction. We all remember when Apple almost broke the internet when it announced its mixed reality headset last summer at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC23).
It employs Mixed Reality (MR) technology. It lays digital elements over your actual surroundings. You can go completely Virtual Reality (VR) or completely Augmented Reality (AR) or an interesting mix of both with the swivel of a button. Very cool.
Early opinions ranged from “TAKE MY MONEY!” and “What were they thinking, making a glorified TV?” But it’s been almost 8 months since then and some got to experience the Appl Vision Pro firsthand. So, what’s the verdict?
Apple gave a select few accesses to try on the Apple Vision Pro. Supervised, of course. Heavily supervised. Technology journalist Joanna Stern said that this was her 4th demo, but it was the first time the Apple team allowed them to take pictures of themselves wearing it.
The testers were impressed with what they were allowed to try out. The Verge’s Victoria Song felt that using the Apple Vision Pro had an air of familiarity to it, saying “My half-hour with it revealed that Apple’s headset felt more familiar than I thought it would.”
But everyone had the same thing to say about it: it’s uncomfortable. Cherlynn Low from Engadget expressed that 15 minutes into her 30-minute demo, she “started to feel weighed down by the device, and five more minutes later, [she] was in pain.” Meanwhile, Song disclosed that by the end, the weight of the Apple Vision Pro started to take a toll and she could feel a mild headache coming.
Sure, having two 4k screens strapped to your head is not going to be the most comfortable experience out there. But that shouldn’t be the case if Apple truly wants to usher in a new “era of spatial computing.”
Retailing at $3,499 minus the accessories, Apple Vision Pro aims to replace several of your devices, most notably your laptop. We spend an extensive amount of time on our computers to work, to game, to socialize, and to get entertainment. If I’m in pain wearing it after 20 minutes, how can I do my job?
Apple’s device weighs somewhere between 453g to 680g, which is standard for a headset. But others aren’t that uncomfortable for extended use. I’ve used the Oculus Quest 2 which weighs around 503g. And it was decently comfortable, minus the fact that my glasses made for a tight fit in there.
The difference is that the Oculus 2 had a strap that went from the visor to the back of my head. Meanwhile, the Apple Vision Pro doesn’t have such a feature to help with the weight distribution. They do give you the option of a Dual Loop Band that goes from one ear to the other. But it doesn’t do much to take weight off the front.
In an effort to innovate again, Apple forgot about gravity.
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