Apple’s revolutionary new head-mounted display packs a punch, but will it empower industries, or is that not the point?
Apple’s new offering – this time, it’s personal!
This week, Apple unveiled its brand new Vision Pro head-mounted display at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. The $3,500 (£2,808) price tag is as hefty as its array of high-tech features – for those that can afford it, this new headgear will allegedly change the way we interface with not just digital spaces – think, the Metaverse – but also the world around us. So what can the Vision Pro do? Thanks to its innovative EyeSight feature, the device will allow users to seamlessly transition from AR (augmented reality) to VR (virtual reality) on the fly; it’s an impressive advancement of pre-existing ideas.
For a company that has empowered and encouraged fitness and interconnectivity with its products, this revolution in spatial computing, as Apple puts it so succinctly, seems to be a surprisingly insular experience.
A premium price point and the opportunity to exist in an insular reality where one can watch movies in an empty digital cinema might sound appealing to your typical Apple evangelists. One of the biggest questions that remain, however, is what the practical applications of this device will be. ‘Killer software’, or lackthereof has been a significant hurdle for head-mounted displays – typically, the adoption and uptake of a product fuels software development and diversity.
What can the Vision Pro for industry?
What Apple hasn’t focused its Vision on, so far, is industry. It’s prohibitively expensive, yes, but it packs an impressive array of technology – everything from tiny 4K screens to infrared gesture sensors are in there. But what will that actually be used for? According to LightGuide, augmented reality has the potential to transform industry, and with good reason. Imagine: walking around a digital structure, designed on a computer, in real-time, in the setting it’s due to be built in. Even Nintendo’s now-defunct 3DS device could utilised augmented imagery to project Pokémon onto a table; here, it’s the reported immersion and streamlining that’s so exciting.
Just don’t expect the battery to last quite as long in practice: the Visual Pro’s power source – a literal wired battery pack – only lasts two hours when it’s not plugged in. It’s hardly a day’s work on-site, or at the office. This writer’s had longer meetings!
Seeing things differently
One sector the Vision Pro could come into its own is training and upskilling; imagine truly immersive learning experiences. One of the downsides of wearing any head-mounted device is the lack of facetime (literally) between real people. After all, it’s hard to show your face when you’re wearing ski goggles stuffed with technology! Yet the Vision Pro has plenty of potential to transform training experiences, making them fully interactive – imagine being able to witness best practice in a role not just on paper, but in person, before you start the job. Likewise, imagine an experience akin to a hazard detection test from inside the digital vehicle.
Whilst the Vision Pro lacks haptic feedback, its potential in healthcare is nevertheless present. Augmented reality has always lent itself to sci-fi visions of surgery, and it’s easy to consider this technology empowering doctors. Overlaying vitals next to a patient sounds like an Iron Man HUD-based dream but the practical application of the Vision Pro for physicians cannot be understated. For now, beyond passive forms of media and see-through sensors, it’s not really clear what Apple’s grand vision for the Vision Pro really is.
What would you use the Vision Pro for, as a professional? Let us know below.
Source: Will Apple Vision Pro Make VR Mainstream?
Image sourced from Apple.com.
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