Apple Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro Offers Clarity And Comfort Beyond Any Other Headset That I’ve Used

Absolute insanity.

I’ve used almost every virtual reality headset that has launched in the last decade and thought I had seen it all going into my Apple Vision Pro demo but as soon as I put the headset on, I knew I was in for an experience above anything else I’ve had before.

I wear glasses and am blind as anything without them, and that’s always been a barrier with any kind of virtual/mixed reality headset, but I was able to take advantage of the ZEISS Optical Inserts which meant being able to use the Vision Pro without my glasses, which makes a world of difference in terms of getting your eyes as close to the lenses as possible.

Apple Vision Pro Solo Knit Band

I’ve used other inserts for headsets such as PlayStation VR2 and the Meta Quest 3, but they haven’t felt quite as integrated as these did, and I’d highly recommend grabbing them if you’re dropping down the money on the Vision Pro and are vision impaired.

I got to experience the headset with the Solo Knit Band which is the one that you would have seen in most of the marketing. I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable this was throughout demo. Normally I struggle to get a good fit with a VR headset, but this felt snug and I didn’t feel like I had to further adjust it or feel any discomfort at all after I got it adjusted initially using dial on the side.

Apple Vision Pro

Whilst there is a bit of weight to the headset, there is an external battery which can be placed besides you or popped into your pocket. The battery has been mocked quite a bit since announce, but it was absolutely the right decision to do this to alleviate that extra weight that would have been in the headset.

After a brief setup which required me to hold up my ZEISS Optical Insert code, hold my hands up and then use eye tracking to select a series of dots by pinching (which you can do whilst holding your hands anywhere in front of you or on your lap), I was set loose in pass through mode, which is really where the Vision Pro started to set itself apart from any other mixed reality or virtuality reality headset that I’ve used in the past.

The Meta Quest 3 really moved things forward with colour pass-through to the point that you could see everything around you, with a somewhat murky clarity, the Vision Pro feels more extremely close to looking with your bare eyes. At times you can obviously tell you’re looking through a screen, but you really do forget that you have a headset on quite quickly.

Safari

Something that is quite unique to the Apple Vision Pro is how it handles the pass-through, with the dial allowing you to twist it to change the level of immersion, meaning how much of the real world you see, or how much of a virtual environment that you see, but the good thing is that if someone wants to chat to you whilst you’re using the headset, they can still appear through your virtual world which wasn’t jarring at all.

The next thing I noticed was just how clear everything is. Again, whilst the likes of the Meta Quest 3 and PlayStation VR2 have moved things forward quite dramatically, this was like watching a 4K display or your iPhone with absolute clarity. There was no weird distortion, blurriness or pixelation at all, with even the most finest text being crystal clear.

Apple Vision Pro

This has probably been the one thing that has stopped me using my Meta Quest 3 for productivity, as capable as it is. The text is just a little bit too grainy and hard to read, and the Vision Pro is really chalk and cheese in terms of showing what’s possible with this space. Whilst I didn’t get to pair it with my MacBook during the demo, I’d love to spend the day or week seeing how it fares in this space.

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All-in-all, I was really impressed with how intuitive the entire experience is. I think if you’ve used an iOS device or a Mac device, you’d put this on and know exactly how to use it. Your eyes act as the cursor and the eye tracking is super accurate, then it’s just a simple pinch to select, with familiar gestures for scrolling or zooming in and out of images.

This was super evident with the photos app, which had me scrolling through photos, zooming in on specific areas and enjoying the pre-loaded photos and videos with incredible clarity, but it was looking at the panoramic shots which absolutely surrounded me and eventually the spatial photos and videos which blew me away.

Apple Vision Pro Spatial Video

Again, I’m no stranger to spatial content, having used it on my Meta Quest 3, but it was the depth and clarity in Apple Vision Pro which made me feel lIke I was right there. It was like being a kid and sitting in front of an IMAX screen for the first time, but so much more immersive and with a greater sense of depth.

PRE-ORDER APPLE VISION PRO HERE FOR $5,999 AUD

Next it was time to jump to Safari, which again just highlighted how crisp the text is within the headset, and then I was able to start moving some windows around really get a sense of the spatial computing component, which was super intuitive.

It was probably the multimedia component that impressed me most with Vision Pro, first starting off with the NBA app that let me view multiple games in multi view, almost replicating being at a sports bar, which I can see being really useful if this was to transition to more sports in a Kayo like situation.

NBA

Similarly, the Apple TV app was really impressive with a short trailer for Avatar: Way of the Water that took place with an extremely large, flat screen above the clouds, with the footage reflecting off of them. I truly felt that I was in a relaxing cinema, despite being in an extremely bright room with two other people.

Next it was time to test the Immersive Video which is a full 360 video with spatial, and that showcased everything from being high above mountains on a tight rope, being sideline on various sporting events such as the NBA and Premier League and ending with a 360 scene out of Prehistoric Planet, and again, whilst it was only a small taste, it really showed what the future of media could be.

Dinosaur

Lastly, I got to test out a meditation experience or just a brief moment that started out with the room around me shown in full pass-view, slowly blacking it out around me, and I was again surprised just how relaxing this was considering the environment that I was in. I’ve always found that virtual reality is a great escape from the real world and this just exemplified that.

I went into the Vision Pro demo thinking I’d know exactly what the experience would be like, and not really expecting to be hugely blown away beyond what I’d experienced in the past, but it was like experiencing virtual reality for the first time all over again.

Whilst it’s not going to be for everyone at this price point, I think it’s a fantastic proof of concept and one that I hope Apple continue to develop as I can see a future where there’s one in every Aussie home. I hope to get more time with it soon to experience it as a gaming device and see how it fits into a more day-to-day productivity and for leisure/general media consumption too.

The Apple Vision Pro launches in Australia on July 12th for $5,999 AUD. You can pre-order it HERE.