I’ll confess that when Apple introduced its mixed-reality Vision Pro headsets on Monday, one of my first thoughts was: Man, that thing looks weird.
I wasn’t alone. On social media, the reaction to the Vision Pro was less than kind. Skeptics mocked the device’s snowboard-goggle-like appearance, its steep price tag ($3,500) and Apple’s lofty pitch about the “spatial computing” era its arrival heralded. There were comparisons to the robot WALL-E, and Twitter memes about people watching pornography in virtual reality.
I get it. I’ve been a virtual reality skeptic for years, and I have long wondered why the technology hasn’t gone mainstream, even as headset quality has improved. I was always dubious about Mark Zuckerberg’s pitch for the metaverse, which had “personal conquest” vibes more so than “actual market demand” vibes. And if you had asked me before Monday’s announcement whether I thought Apple’s mixed-reality headset signified the beginning of a huge, earthshaking platform shift, on the order of the original iPhone’s arrival, I would have said no.
But after seeing Apple demonstrate the Vision Pro on Monday — and reading the generally positive reviews from folks who have tested it — I now think it could be a big deal, and possibly even the first hint of a revolutionary new computing platform.