The headset that cost $3,500 just got here. What now?
Today is February 2, 2024, a Friday. It’s time now. You’ve been interested in the Vision Pro ever since Tim Cook showed it off at WWDC last year. It’s been longer than that if you count the years of whispers, leaks, and renderings. It’s a first-generation product, so the price wasn’t even close to what you had hoped for. Manufacturing isn’t at full market scale yet, and you have to think about the millions of dollars that were spent on research and development over seven or eight years.
After debating for a few months, you finally put your mouse over the “Buy” button, held your breath, closed your eyes, and paid $3,500. Well done, you’re an early user.
The box shows up. It’s very big. Along with being very Apple, it’s also high-end and well-thought-out. Take off the top by tearing the tabs on the other side. On the inside, the visor is attached to a small platform that looks more like a show case than a shipping container. You’ll find another strap and a second “light seal” piece if you dig deeper.
What’s an extra minute or two between friends after eight months? It takes a little while to set up. That makes sense. The Vision Pro needs to find its way around and learn about the light and space. These are the right times to snap in your Zeiss optical inserts if you had them made for your eyes. Don’t worry too much about the picture if you wear glasses until you’ve registered them by putting up a piece of paper with a QR code on it. It’s pretty much the same process to connect the device to your iPhone.
The headset will need to be taken off for a short time so that your face can be scanned. However, let’s start with a short movie.
The camera on the front of the helmet is used for the face scan to make a 3D avatar with the user’s shoulders raised. Signing up for Face ID on your iPhone is a lot like this process. Look ahead. Move your head to the side. Then the other one. Turn down and look up. Turn your head up and down. Make sure there is enough light. If you have one, a ring light might work. Don’t squint if you wear glasses. Yes, I did, and now my Persona looks like it has been celebrating for a week since Ohio’s Issue 2 voting measure passed.
Personally, I’m really into the Dual Loop Band right now. The top strap does a much better job of spreading weight (the Vision Pro is not a light headset), but it doesn’t look as cool as the Solo Knit Band. For the light seal inserts, people who wear glasses should choose the bigger pair so that there is more space between their eyes and the inserts.
finally, there’s the well-known power pack. Put it in the left port and twist it. A short flash of white light that then becomes a solid light. The start-up has begun.
So far, the Personas that have been shown to the public have been all over the place. They all did a great job, all of the leaders. Is the light off? Genes that work well? It could be Maybelline. I hope it goes well for you. If you fail the first time, don’t worry—you can try again. Mine? This is the better of the two I’ve already set up. I still look like a talking thumb who is hooked on huffing, and this makes the Bell’s palsy in my right eye really stand out. Or maybe a Max Headroom with more soft parts? I’ll try again tomorrow. Until then, keep in mind that the tool is still very much in beta.
This is the you that you will use to talk to people on FaceTime and other teleconferencing apps. The point of this is to get around the fact that 1) You have a visor on your face and 2) There is probably not an outside camera pointing at you. It does take some time to get used to.
Also, if you want to change your hair or shirt, you’ll have to take it again. I wanted something a little more flexible like Memojis, but that’s not what it has right now. But it will react to different facial emotions, like when you smile, raise your eyebrows, or even stick out your tongue (which is helpful for Zoom work calls). The scan also makes a picture of your eyes for the EyeSight feature on the front of the helmet, which lets people in the room know when you are looking at them.
Hold your hands up and put on the headset again so the hand-tracking feature knows what to look for. After that, three rings of dots will show up, each with more light than the last. You need to look at each of these while pinching your thumb and index finger together. This makes eye tracking more accurate.
I/O has been a big question mark in the world of extended reality for a long time. The headset can connect to Bluetooth game controllers, laptops, and trackpads, but Apple thinks that your eyes and hands will be used for most interactions in the future. To pick something, look at it and pinch your fingers together. You can also pinch to zoom (pinch with both hands and then pull them apart) and scroll (pinch and swipe).
The crown on your screen is your friend. It’s pretty much the same as the one on your Apple Watch, but bigger. When you press it, an app window pops up, like on Mac OS X’s Launchpad. There are also different Environments and People/Contacts shown in the apps tab. VisionOS will center where you’re looking if you press the crown for a long time.
You just got a brand-new Vision Pro. My best advice to you is to take some time to feel it out. You don’t want to hear this. I get it, listen up. You bought something with a car down payment that you haven’t been able to use for over six months. However, if you don’t take breaks, facing a new world can change your brain in strange ways. Some people have said that the weight gives them headaches. I get sick easily when I’m moving, and I still feel a little off after my first full day with the device.
Watch a TV show episode. Play a quick game. If you have an Apple Arcade account, you can play Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds on your iPad. Yes, this is the start of a new era for computers. You have a lot of time to get used to it.
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