Apple Vision Pro: First Reactions!

Okay, these are my reactions after one day of using the Apple Vision Pros. So my first reaction was, “Wow, this is like amazing.” I mean, anyone who tries it, you feel like you’re in another world, you’re entering another universe, and it’s incredibly cool. Now after I created my account, I created a guest account for my wife and my daughter and my daughter’s friend. They all used it, and all of them had the same reaction, which was, “Wow, this is like unbelievable. This is like amazing.” They felt like they were in a different world.

Now why is that? And I’ll tell you, the thing that’s the most interesting thing about creating a new computer paradigm here with the Apple Vision Pro is that instead of using a mouse or a touch to go through the operating system and get to apps, this operating system uses your eye contact to see what you’re going to click on. And it’s incredible because it tracks your eyes. And so the way you go and navigate through this operating system is you look at an app or a button or something with your eyes, and then you click on it. Now how do you click on it? Now you don’t have to raise your hand and click on anything. Rather, you just click your two fingers together like that. And even though you’re keeping your hand way down near your waist and your Apple Vision goggles are way above it, the cameras on the glasses can see you click.

And why does Apple do it like that? Because remember, years ago, people would complain that, “Why doesn’t Apple with its MacBook Pro or iMac have a touch on the computer?” And that’s because you’d have to raise your hand up and your arm would get tired if you kept raising it. And that’s why with the iPad, you can put it flat, and then when you do touch, you’re not really raising your arm. But they figured out if you raise your arm, it’s going to hurt your arm. So what Apple cleverly did is they figured out how, by putting a lot of cameras on the Apple Vision glasses, using machine learning, they could see when you click your fingers like this, even though it’s way down near your waist or resting on your legs or your lap. And so the beauty of this thing is you navigate around by looking at what you want to click on and then clicking by putting your fingers together. Now here’s the wild thing. Once you get used to this, it feels kind of natural.

And the crazy thing is it’s actually faster than navigating with a mouse on a regular Macintosh or PC because your eyes can move around the screen or what you see much quicker than a mouse can when you’re trying to move it around and click on something on a regular computer. So the weird thing is, once you get used to it, you look at this, you look at that, and you click, you click, and click. Now what’s interesting is, even with putting in my password, a keyboard comes up and I look at a certain letter, click, look at the next letter, click, look at the next letter, click. And once you get used to it, like the passcode on an iPhone, a six-number passcode, I can do that really quickly just by looking at it, going like this, click, click. But remember, the click is down near my waist. I’m not holding it up. And so that part is crazy. It’s a crazy, it’s a new paradigm, right? Because remember, before the Mac came out with the GUI interface and the mouse, regular PCs you just would type. There was no mouse. You would just type on lines. There was nothing virtual like something that looks like a folder.

If you think about it, the GUI, the graphic user interface on a Mac and a PC, that’s a virtual world too because the apps and the folders and the trash can to throw, or a garbage can to throw something away, that’s like a representation of a garbage can. It’s a virtual world. So now what we’re doing with Apple Vision Pro is there’s a virtual world. And so the wow part, that’s like one of the parts of the wow part. The other part is there’s actually like a screen in front of you, this incredibly high definition screen, but because of the cameras like that look through it, it appears pass-through. So you can make it so you don’t see anything, but also you can see the real world. Now it’s not like a 90, it’s not a hundred percent pass-through like regular glass, but it feels like it and it’s close to it. Obviously there’s room for perfection, but apparently this is the best pass-through than anyone’s ever done through such glasses. And the idea is that it’s not completely, you’re not completely shut off that you can see the rest of the world.

Now the really other craziest thing is how 3D is in this thing. Like when I was a kid, we used to get those like glasses, whatever those are, those cards, you could go through and see 3D versions of like, you know, when you were going on vacation somewhere, like what Europe looked like or someplace in other parts of the world. Well this thing is crazy because if you have an iPhone 15 Pro like I do, you were able to take 3D videos for the Vision Pro glasses before they came out. So I took some 3D videos before and I was able to see them in the Vision Pro glasses now. And it’s crazy. It’s like you’re going back into some memory, some like, and reliving some memory, like, and like you’re there. So I had gone up and visited some relatives and I went with them to a store and then like watching the 3D video, it’s like I’m there.

The other thing is, remember like years ago, Apple on the iPhone created panoramic photos? Well I took a whole bunch of panoramic photos years ago when we’re on vacation. Well now when you put these panoramic photos and look at them in the Apple Vision Pro, they’re truly panoramic. They’re truly, the photo now is all around you. And so it’s pretty amazing. So that part’s also amazing. The other part that’s amazing are like watching screens. You know, you can make like a 20 foot movie screen in front of you and it feels like it’s a 20 foot movie screen. So you know, in terms of watching movies, you can, and you can have it all darkened out or have some other like experience surround you. Like you could be on the moon watching a video. You could be in a castle watching a video. And you can make it as big as you want. And also the sound is very good. There’s built in surround sound through it. It’s not plugged into your ear, but it’s right above your ear. And it does a good job of creating this surround sound around you.

But there are these 3D experiences which are just wild. Because like for example, they have this dinosaur experience where like you’re in this 3D world and the dinosaurs come up really close to you. This is the one where actually a butterfly flies in and it lands on your hand. It knows. So the 3D can know where you are and then like react to you. The other thing is there was like a Alicia Keys music video where like you’re in the session with Alicia Keys. You’re like standing next to her as she’s singing and then as her team is playing instruments. And you know, my family, when they tried it in guest mode, they were just blown away. My wife was blown away. My daughter was blown away. Her friend was blown away. This part is truly like a blown away experience. The thing is there’s already like a lot of apps like Microsoft Office is now part of this. But even like Apple’s own like iWork apps like Keynote. Here’s the crazy thing with Keynote. Apple’s got it built in there so that you can practice your Keynote presentation as if you’re in the Steve Jobs auditorium. Now these are all the wow parts, the wow parts of the experience.

Now this is a first generation product just like the first Mac was a first generation product. Just like the first iPhone was a first generation product. And there are limitations here. One is the battery life. So you get this big battery here. I’ll hold it up. This is the battery. You know, it’s like about as big as an iPhone, but thicker than an iPhone. And it basically can run like two and a half, three hours while it’s not charged. But you can charge it like here is it’s charging it. And so you can, it’s a pass through connector so you can like run it just sitting down without losing any power. But you have to have that like, you know, if you’re going away from where you’re plugged in, you have that battery in your pocket. And it weighs a decent amount. You can see that’s why they didn’t put it in the vision glasses.

The other thing is the vision glasses, they are heavy. I mean, this is what they look like. But they’re not, they’re not like really light. And like I have the band, the double band here, because I found that to be more comfortable. But the thing is, like when you wear this, after a while, you get tired. It feels kind of heavy on your nose as it’s resting on the nose. And you can’t like use them, let’s say more than two or three hours. So like you could watch a movie, you could do your work, but after two or three hours, you’re going to get fatigued, because they are kind of heavy. I mean, one thing that I noticed is like, if I lean back, if I’m on a couch and watching a movie, and I lean back, or I’m on my bed, I have a nice bed rest, if I lean back, that takes off some of the pressure, and maybe I can use it longer. So the thing is, they are eventually going to make other iterations of this device, you know, they’re coming up the second version, the third version, look at the iPhone, we’re now on to, I don’t know, 15, 16, 17 versions, actually more, because they had the S version, remember like 5S, 3S, well, we’re probably up to like the 20th. Well, actually, we’ve got to be, the iPhone was created in 2007, we’re in the year 2024. So there’s probably every year, like there’s been a new iPhone. So there’s been maybe 17 iPhones, I think, you know, something like that. But the point is, Apple’s going to iterate on this thing, and it’s going to get better, and better, and better.

The key thing is the operating system, and the technology that creates the 3D world, and the microphones, and the camera, all of that. Apple is going to work on this, it’s going to make it lighter, it’s going to find ways to make the battery last longer, and it’s going to get better and better. And so this, you got to think of this as a new computer paradigm. I mean, you know, like when the mouse came out with the Macintosh, people like John Dvorak said this is a toy, this is ridiculous. He liked the old version of PCs that had come out, you know, just typing characters on the line MS-DOS. And who does that now? Like, you know, other than people using Unix commands on a terminal, most people are using, they’re not even using that, they’re not even using the mouse. Most computer work is done now through touch, through the iPhone, or Android computers, or iPads. But what I’m saying is, this eyeball tracking and clicking thing actually works really well, and it’s really quick. And so I can see eventually this becoming the new paradigm. And who knows, I mean, we might have contact lenses from Apple that have all this technology in it. We may, who knows, Apple maybe could build this contact eye tracking technology into a Mac. Imagine if you could navigate around a Mac without a mouse, but just using cameras to track you and then clicking on apps. And who knows, maybe the iPad will have this eye tracking technology. So it’s pretty amazing.

So overall, I am extremely impressed by this new technology. It’s not cheap. I mean, I got it with like one terabyte, so it’s close to $4,000. But it’s basically a preview of where we’re going, where we’re going in terms of how computers are run, how we use computers. And it is the future. So overall, I give it a big thumbs up.

Lex is a long time Apple user and loves technology.