Apple's Vision Pro

Rogue Tech Talks: March 2024

We’ve been meeting each month for the past year, staying in touch and keeping updated with new people and new products.

This month, Dave brought his new Apple Vision Pro Spatial Computer to the event, to share with attendees. Individuals mounted the device on their heads (“feels like wearing a whole laptop”) and experienced the feeling of being transported inside a virtual space.

A transcript of audio recorded during the event follows…

Dave put on the device and explained that it felt fairly heavy on his face; a bit of an annoyance.

Dave testing Apple's Vision Pro
Dave testing Apple’s Vision Pro

He pointed-out that he will be moving his hands and fingers around and, while it looks like he’s swatting gnats, he is actually touching and moving objects within the virtual space that he sees via the goggles. He also set up a visual display on his laptop so the audience could see what he’s seeing via the device.

The headset has downward-facing cameras presenting a panoramic view.

The device was a gift from one of his clients who has a museum (Art Authority) where Dave works on the display of artwork; thus, many of the images on Dave’s display were of the artwork inside this gallery.

Here’s what he does to bring up the apps: If he looks up, there’s a little dot; he can select that by pointing to it with his finger (which is aimed out in space, corresponding to the location he sees within the device), and choosing apps or environment or control center or whatever.

He selected the environment option and explained that he can control how immersive it is. While the display appears to be similar to a zoomed-in image, Dave explained that the display is more immersive rather than amplifying the image; IOW, the technology is “moving within the space” to provide a more comprehensive view of the surroundings. If he dials it back, the edges of the space come into view—and you can hear the rain outside. “It’s a great place to work because it’s quiet.”

Next, he brought up the applications option.

Q: Can you be typing on your computer while you view the scene on the screen

A: Absolutely!

Q: So, you could expand the display over an additional screen?

A: It would take another computer to host the additional display screen.

Dave brought up an image of one of the Mars Rovers. He “put it on the table” (within the image) and pointed to various components of the rover to display information about the item.

JIG Space: All of these things are items that can be disassembled on screen and the component parts can be laid-out on a table, again on the screen. Sort of like Iron Man does when he assembles/disassembles his Iron Man Suit. The application for this feature is for a company that produces repair manuals and they are able to show the various components of an item, along with demonstrating the flow of the part from table to assembled part.

Q: How long did it take to set up what we are looking at?

A: About 6 months.

Q: Do you need prescription lenses to see the images?
A: If you need prescription lenses to see distance, then you need prescription lenses to view the image. Up-close is not a problem.

Dave then put the device in Guest Mode and passed it off to Glen.

He cautioned that it is like wearing a laptop on your face…

The device will then walk you through a calibration; it will display dots and you point at the dots (briefly touch the Digital Crown) so the device can calibrate the eye tracking, and the device can determine where you’re looking when you look.

Glen testing Apple's Vision Pro
Glen testing Apple’s Vision Pro

Glen: Reading Safety Announcement: “Don’t skateboard in traffic with these on.”

Open apps; “Notification Center Unavailable.” eXit out of current location. Tap Digital Crown once and, voila! Applications appear. Grab and drag to the left to view dinosaurs, “watch out for your beer bottle sitting on the table in front of you!” To move a screen, grab the bar and move it to where you want it. Now I can see the dinosaur.

Q: What’s tracking what he’s seeing?

A: Cameras. It’s actually a full MacBook Pro.

Glen: Watching the dinosaurs. There’s also a butterfly flitting around. There’s a bit of sensation that accompanies that. He could see the server standing next to our table, so he took a break and ordered dinner.

The dinosaur is walking away now.

Q: Can you hear it?
A: Oh, Yeah!

Push the Digital Crown to exit.

Glen said he’d probably want some prescription glasses if he was doing some word processing.

The dinosaur is every bit as cool as it’s reported to be.

Dave: There’s a very cool video of Alicia Keys rehearsing with you in the picture.

There are also some rhinos.

This is 3D film.

There’s another video of a woman walking on a slack lining over a fjord over in Norway or somewhere. She has a harness that’s connected to the line she’s on. If she falls, she’s hanging on the line.

Gunnar testing Apple's Vision Pro
Gunnar testing Apple’s Vision Pro

Gunnar: “You can’t squish the butterfly…” Somebody is going to eat the butterfly. Amazing how consistent the background is.

Dave: “You should try the immersive environment. You look down and see moon dust…No footprints, only dust.”

Glen: “How do you assess the addition potential for this?”

Dave: “My wife won’t wear it for more than 2 minutes; too heavy.”

Gunnar: “Like a zero-gravity chair.”

Dave: ”The speakers do active voice-cancelling. Did you notice that the audio was spatial audio?” The thing that most impressed me most is simply moving 2-dimension windows to a new location and you can move around the space and the windows stay put.”

Jon testing Apple's Vision Pro
Jon testing Apple’s Vision Pro

Jon: “I did get to Explore Mars for a minute.”

Glen: “How’s the quality of the video when you’re working on your Mac?”

Dave: “It’s great. The flaw is: the gestures don’t translate. If you’re trying to move objects, that doesn’t translate.”

Gunnar: “It seems like some of these issues are solvable problems; switching between windows, etc.”

Dave: “Right. Now, you can only have one screen but it’s as big as you want.” There’s a sweet spot for me: If you want to turn your head, it’s not very productive.”

Gunnar: “I’m in meetings every day with government people; teams…it’s a challenge.”

Dave: “It’s definitely better quality than other options.”

Jon: “I could see where you might get excited…moving your hands around…it tries to follow.”

Jon passed-off the device to Shane.

Shane testing Apple's Vision Pro
Shane testing Apple’s Vision Pro

Shane enjoyed the experience quietly.

A general chat session compared the experiences for all who tried the Apple Vision Pro. This included a discussion about the price, the carrying case, and the appropriate applications.

Dave: “The case I bought from Harbor Freight is worth the price. A friend of mine bought one for much more $$ and it was silk over styrofoam; immediately dented.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in this event!

Author: Karen
Written: 3/14/24
Published: 3/16/24
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