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Vision Pro – First Week

Apple’s new Vision Pro is so amazing it is hard to describe it in words. I will take a crack at it in this blog post. In a nutshell, it is much more than meets the eye. No pun intended.

The first part of the Vision Pro experience was to marvel at the packaging. It was an engineering feat itself as always with Apple’s packaging. No tools required. Two large boxes contained the Vision Pro and the travel case. All materials were top notch. They should be for what the Vision Pro costs. They say it is $3,499 but that is the starting price. I added reading lenses, a deluxe travel case, and a memory upgrade to 1 terabyte. The total with tax was $4,491.

A small box contained the lenses from Zeiss. Apple and Zeiss worked together to design the lenses. They are not needed unless you wear glasses. I selected reading glasses with 1.50 – 1.75 magnification. If you wear prescription glasses, you submit the prescription to Apple and Zeiss makes the corresponding lenses. An alternative is to visit an Apple store with your glasses. They scan your lenses and then get you the corresponding lenses for the Vision Pro. The Zeiss lenses attach to the inside of the headset magnetically. They just pop right in perfectly aligned.

The setup process was straightforward like with all Apple products, but there are some new steps in the setup. Vision Pro gets information about your local area network and Wi-Fi credentials from your iPhone. It is important to have the headset fit so that no ambient light can get inside. Several options are provided for how to wear the headset including straps and the Solo Knit Band, which is what I was wearing in the picture above. The Vision Pro requires a battery which is connected via a cable. Once the cable is connected, you are ready to go.

Vision Pro has a crown button like the one on the Apple Watch. You press it once and Vision Pro shows an Apple logo just like the iPhone, iPad, or Macs. A few seconds later a home screen appears. The virtual screen is not confined to the size of the headset. To the contrary, the homescreen can fill an entire wall. Adjustments to the size and location of the virtual screen are easy to establish once you get the hang of it. The home screen shows a dozen or so app icons including AppleTV+, Messages, Reminders, Stocks, App Store, etc.

Facebook’s Meta AR/VR headset, and other competing headsets, use paddles, mouse like devices, gaming controllers with buttons, etc. to control what you see and do. With Vision Pro, there are two devices for this purpose: your eyes and your hands. Both are calibrated as part of the setup process. It takes some getting used to, but the power and simplicity are amazing. You simply look at an icon on the home screen and then touch your finger to your thumb. The cameras in Vision Pro detect what you are looking at and when you tap your fingers. Think of how we move a cursor with a pad or mouse on our PCs or Macs. We move the cursor sometimes across the entire home screen, align the cursor over the icon, and then click to select it. With Vision Pro you just look at what you want. As you scan across the homescreen, you can see the icons being selected. When you are looking at the one you want, just tap your fingers and the app starts.

Apple offers a free 30-minute session with an expert to answer questions and help you setup the Vision Pro. I already had mine set up, but I found the expert very helpful in pointing out navigation tips and techniques. I learned a lot from him. I expect to keep learning every day I use the Vision Pro.

On day one, I took the Vision Pro to the gym here at our condo building. I put the headset on and selected a 3D movie about dinosaurs. They were incredibly life-like, especially when one of them came right up to my face. The next day I learned more about how to manage the virtual movie screen. The default is like a desktop computer screen. But you can adjust the size the screen. The next day I watched Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D in my office. I made the screen size 12-feet wide. It filled the wall. The sound and sight of this movie was quite an experience, which words are hard to describe. One of those things where you must see it to believe it.

Apple claims it had 600 new Vision Pro apps available on day one. I tried out a few of them and was quite impressed. One app is called Exploring Mars. It showed the Perseverance robot on the surface of the planet. You can size it from small to full size. I made it full sized, and it filled my office office in 3D. You can just look at one of the components of the robot and it expands that part and brings up a separate screen with the details of the component: what it is, what it does, etc. With another app, I was able to explore the inside of a human cell in 3D.

I expect there will be a flood of apps for Vision Pro. The apps already span a wide range of games, productivity, and entertainment. It is not just IT companies and consumer-oriented apps. Big companies like Lowe’s and Wayfair want to capitalize on the power of spatial computing, especially augmented reality. You can select a piece of furniture, see it full size, and place it where you want in reality, e.g. kitchen, living room, etc. You can then evaluate if the furniture fits and exactly how it looks. I expect apps using AR will become significant in healthcare, space exploration, manufacturing, engineering design, and many other areas. Apple sold about 1 billion $ of Vision Pros on day one. The potential looks enormous to me.

If you want to dive a little bit deeper, I can recommend a YouTube video by MacSparky. Dave Sparks was formerly an attorney but later shifted his entire everything to Apple. I have been a regular reader of his tips and techniques for years. His video is 17 minutes, and you can find it here. In just the first couple of minutes you will get his initial reaction to Vision Pro. Also, more about many areas of technology in my “It’s All About Attitude” Book Series, which you can find at johnpatrick.com.