REPORT Apple Vision Pro, a real promise?
Apple's new device was announced a few weeks ago now. If most of the reactions were directed around its price (3499 dollars), one can especially wonder if the levels of requirement and innovation will be up to it. The Apple brand has described Apple Vision Pro as a revolution, as it did when the iPhone and iPad were released. Some have had the chance to test this famous "space computer" which promises a lot.
Apple Vision Pro: unlimited space?
Many new-generation optical devices ( smart glasses , VR headsets , etc.) have already emerged and flooded the market, already with great promise. Among GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft), the adventure was long overdue. If the Google Glass proved to be a failure, the Oculus Rift from Microsoft and the Quest from META (formerly Facebook) fell into the category of very good virtual reality headsets. They are above all classified in the right line of the market with relatively correct prices.
Apple did not want to do half measures, by offering, not virtual reality but a "space computer." So, simple marketing stunt or real innovation?
On paper , the promise is very beautiful. The Apple site highlights "a limitless space for applications that can extend beyond the borders of a conventional screen and [which] introduces a fully three-dimensional user interface, controlled by the means of most natural and intuitive interaction possible: the user's eyes, hands and voice."
Apple CEO Tim Cook puts it this way : “Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing and the iPhone introduced mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing.
While the output US is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024, some lucky testers have shared their first impressions.
New chip for outstanding performance
Before getting down to functional test feedback, you should know that the Apple Vision Pro headset embeds technology never seen before in a consumer device. Apple has achieved quite impressive performance in terms of power since replacing Intel chips with Apple chips (M1 then M2) on its Macs.
Be aware that the brand does not rest on its laurels since the helmet integrates both an M2 chip (already the most powerful from Apple) and a brand new chip called "R1", a processor which manages the processing of information, in particular on the many sensors present on the helmet .
The point that amazed the various testers is the fluidity of operation with which you can navigate through one or more virtual interfaces that blend completely with reality, offering a feeling of mixed reality out of the ordinary. Everything is actually managed with the fingers and the eyes thanks to the sensors (you can select an application just by staring at it!). The use of Siri, Apple's AI, is obviously always possible to control your headset by voice.
What's the point ?
Apple Vision Pro integrates all the applications developed by Apple, and found on all their products. So what interest? In the context of work, it can be very practical to have multiple screens available to view (notes, email, presentation, etc.). The different screens integrate perfectly into the environment and, important to note, whether you are working on an application or watching a movie in VR, the interaction with reality never completely disappears (if someone falls within the scope, for example). Apple Vision Pro therefore does not aim to completely cut the user off from the real world. Pro will not replace your computer, and it is mainly for entertainment purposes that the first buyers will be able to rush on it (so to speak since it will be necessary to make an appointment to obtain it.)
Entertainment, the strong point of Apple Vision Pro
Cinema, Music, Sport…With its "space computer", Apple is revolutionizing the way people are entertained. Watching a movie on a VR headset is nothing revolutionary in and of itself. But as soon as you switch to Cinema or 3D Cinema mode, opinions are unanimous. Both image quality and immersion seemingly surpass anything seen before. What put a coup de grace to the world of cinema?
The immersion of the show (with its panorama) apparently also offers great promise. During the tests, Apple invited journalists and influencers to try immersion at concerts or basketball, football and other games, and the opinions were unanimous. The grandiose impression of being able to watch a match from your sofa as if you were at the stadium, or at a concert is stunning.
A few weak points
Where the problem lies is in the mode of operation and autonomy. Apple Vision Pro does not have an internal battery and is therefore not rechargeable like our other computing devices. It can be used on the mains or using an external battery which must remain connected to the helmet. So not ideal. Especially since the autonomy of this battery is likely to raise eyebrows: only 2 hours… We imagine that when playing videos in high quality, it will be even less, which means that it will be necessary almost exclusively to connect to the mains to watch a movie.
Some testers were also able to notice certain display bugs during testing, but we can imagine that Apple will fix these problems as much as possible by the official release.
Of course, the price is open to debate, and the latter has already been widely discussed. That's why we won't discuss it further here.
A real promise?
Apple Vision Pro promises to be the most elaborate mixed reality device. It remains to be seen whether it will really offer solutions which, as announced by the manufacturer, will revolutionize the IT market. In any case, it will not be for years. However, it offers a glimpse of what awaits us in the future and consecrates Apple as the pioneer of GAFAM in terms of IT innovation.
For competitors, the blow is tough, but what has happened in the smartphone market is to be expected: devices at more affordable prices and which, for some, have surpassed the performance of the iPhone.
It is therefore above all the promise of a boost in terms of virtual reality headsets (even if it is not officially one ). Its imminent release should be marked with a cross and widely followed in the tech world. As for the revolution, we will certainly have to wait a little longer, especially since its prohibitive price risks slowing down the progress of such technology.