Apple's mixed reality headset reviewed

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That review in The Verge didn’t make me want to rush out and get one. It’s kinda damning in its praise, basically saying “this is absolutely the best, most impressive headset on the market and we still didn’t find a compelling use case for it.”


Is that supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing? It sounds like an absolutely horrible interface for something as straightforward as composing an email.



I’m probably a dreadful philistine; but the CNBC piece read like it was written by someone who had been raised in a specially deprived environment where nobody gets more than a single 13in laptop display, and everything runs fullscreen all the time; and released from his enclosure in order to write the article. Typing is slower than on an iphone, “some may be able to work in it”; but it blew his mind that you can put windows side by side.

I realize that bolting a reality attenuator to your face is smaller than a multimonitor setup; but I have to imagine that the Hiro Protagonist demographic, whose computer is the most valuable thing they own and whose shared storage unit doesn’t really have any space, is a relatively niche one; which mostly leaves people who do, or could, have multiple monitors where they compute; but really want to gargoyle up.

(edit: curiously the CNBC fellow didn’t even mention it; but the Verge’s description below just sounds practically calculated to break anyone used to working with computer UIs:

Think about every other computer in your life: the input mechanism is independent of whatever you’re looking at. On a laptop, you can click on controls and use the keyboard while keeping your focus on a document. On a phone, you can do things like drag sliders in a photo editing app while keeping your eyes focused on what those changes are actually doing to your photo.

The Vision Pro simply doesn’t work like that — you have to be looking at something in order to click on it, and that means you are constantly taking your attention away from whatever you’re working on to specifically look at the button you need to press next.

Even Apple, who resents buttons, puts a lot of trouble into haptic feedback to make interfaces you are using but not looking at feel more plausible; and it’s more or less inherent in touchscreen controls that they be usable without too much looking at the controls themselves because those are what your meat-fingers are obscuring when in use. A full-bore gaze tracking interface sounds agonizing. Presumably something one could sidestep in about 10 minutes if willing to compromise the core vision and just bluetooth in a mouse and keyboard and admit that it’s a specialist monitor rather than the transformative future of computing; but making that an option will probably take some serious coaxing of the true believers behind the product.)


Do you want to sit in a poorly rendered conference room with a bunch of avatar-colleagues hover around with no legs?

VR still seems like a solution in search of a problem; so far I haven’t heard of a use case that justifies the price or renders renders a current technology— or reality — obsolete.


I think mixed reality / augmented reality is an unfortunate certainty once they have it available by glasses / contacts.

It’ll probably be great by then but also I can’t help but wish we could just … not.


I’m happy with the games on my PSVR2. Don’t think I’d spend any more than what that cost for VR though, and that’s pushing it. Several times the price? Oh hell no.

Anything serious? Nah, don’t feel the need for VR.


Gaming! Porn! Uh, porn-based games!

That’s all I got. Even Neal Stephenson struggled to come up with anything users could do in his vision of the Metaverse that actually sounded like something worth doing.


Probably depends on your definition of “great.”


Augmented reality makes more sense to me than VR. I already use AR apps on my phone to identify plants and insects, calculate distances, and not quite navigate. As long as there were no ads (or ad-free subscriptions) and no un-silenceable annoying notification pop-up, I could see myself adopting AR.

But apart from games and pr0n (thanks @sqlrob & @Brainspore ) I personally don’t see a compelling reason to buy one. YMMV.


“Tourism” is the other major thing, but it there doesn’t seem to be anything widely available.

I’d love to go to the pyramids, but dealing with the safety of travel, pandemic, wars in the Middle East, probably will never happen. A high res tour in VR? I’d love it.


Yeah, about 6-8 years ago I participated in a study that was looking at typing interfaces through VR. It was the most miserable and tiring, and least accurate, typing I’ve ever done. 100% bad.


Retail might have a use for it. Either at a mall or online when retailers want to show something that is bigger than can be effectively be displayed in the space they have.

Pulling up a pron trap 35m deep is quite the experience. (spell check offers prawn and porn, how fun.) But I don’t know how a headset will replicate the waves bucking your dinghy as your mothership sails away while under command of a reluctant second mate. All for two or three prons. That’s not dinner.


The one thing that makes me want a headset is the potential of using it with Blender. I played with a buddy’s Occulus and can’t imagine any recreational use for VR that I’d enjoy, but I imagine that it’s an absolute game changer for 3D sculpting, animation, and CAD work.


That’s been available since the 1800’s.
File:Stereoscope.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Or if you prefer color, that technology was perfected in the 1940s.
Sawyer's Vintage B140 E Egypt Cairo Nile Pyramids view-master 3 reels  packet | eBay


So I guess this thing is meant to be worn for a good portion of one’s waking hours? I’m sorry, but if I need away time from my screens, I just walk away from them; I don’t want the device following me around.

Another thought: do I wear this in public? Why? What do I gain from wearing this on public transport that I don’t get from staring out the window, or reading a book/magazine, or closing my eyes for a bit? And what if I forget & and I left it behind?

And if I’m at the grocery store, why isn’t my phone good enough? The store’s app has information about coupons/specials and I can just search for product information directly. Why do I need this?

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Can’t exactly walk around the pyramids leaning in to look at details with those :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Come on, give Resident Evil a shot :ghost:

Of course, that’s when I find out I can have tactile illusions in a headset. Boy, did I jump when I felt that branch.


do you want to wear glasses? :confused:

you have to get special inserts* apparently.

( * for the headset, i think. and not into your actual eyes. )


If it comes with a decent pair of skis I just might get interested.