Augmented Isolation. Apple’s Virtual Reality Headset Fails to Convince, but what is behind it?

New technologies in action. 

Author admin
01/07/2023 - 18:32

The eager anticipation for the month of June has become a staple in the world of tech. Not due to the arrival of summer, but because of a major annual event from the world’s leading technology company- Apple.

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) brings together Apple OS developers and third-party developers and start-ups together to introduce new features and capabilities of the constantly upgrading technologies Apple has been cooking up in Cupertino, introducing OS updates for their current products, improved versions of the beloved iPhones and iPads, usually adding a consecutive numerical digit to signify that this particular device is different, from the one you purchased last year, and “One More Thing…”

The phrase has long been a signal for all Apple enthusiasts to hold their breath in awe of the new, groundbreaking product from the LA-based tech giant, and release the tension in the convention center with earth-shattering applause and whistles in the crowd, to mark the introduction of a device, that is going to, undoubtedly, change the world. Such was the case with the first ever iPhone, introduced by the late Steve Jobs, in 2007, and such was the case with the Apple Watch in 2015, however, this year, with the introduction of Apple’s first ever Augmented Reality Headset, dubbed “Vision Pro”, the product was not met with the anticipated enthusiasm, as its previous predecessors from Apple’s new product line.

The lingering question left on the tips of the tongues of consumers is- “Why?” “Why do we need this device right now?” “Is it even worth it?”

“What is Vision Pro’s purpose?” Turns out, not even Apple can give a straight answer to these questions. “Because it’s an Apple product?” “Because it’s fashionable?” “Because it’s futuristic?”

The false assumption that Apple seems to adopt with this particular product is- if it is made by Apple, the consumer will automatically want it. What they seem to fail to recognise however, is that the average consumer in 2023 has become more tech-savvy and more aware of the world around them. The company’s strategy of trying to impress the market with a cool new tech toy and watch their stock skyrocket, has been outdated since the Apple Watch, when in reality, Apple is currently 10 years behind the rival tech companies, namely Google, Microsoft and Samsung.

In a nutshell, Vision Pro brings the normal iPad/iPhone experience to the eye level of the user, offering its owner the ability to browse the web, watch movies and scroll through photos directly in front of their eyes and in the room, they are in, using hand gestures to navigate through the system, and the ability to fully emerge yourself into the virtual world, shutting of the real world, all by the twist of the digital crown.

Since the launch of “Vision Pro”, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta and the founder of Facebook, has critiscised the device, dubbing it “expensive and anti-social”, which in his opinion, conflicts with the values of Apple. Zuckerberg also took this opportunity to promote his ‘Metaverse” project, stating that that unlike Apple, Meta views AR and VR technology as purely social endeavours, and that Apple, has not provided any novelties or “magical solutions” which Meta designers “have not explored and thought of”- cite Variety

Leading on to the functionality of the device, although convenient for some, not having to be stuck to their screens the whole day, Vision Pro, with all it’s impressive functions, such as spatial audio, face detection on the basis of machine learning, 3D-camera and theatre-like movie experience, does not provide the power capacities to accommodate them, with the external battery pack holding up the capacity of 2.5-hours of non-stop work. The ticket to the 2.5-hour trip to the virtual reality will set you back for at least $3,500, which is expensive to say the least. For the record the average monthly salary for citizens of the USA is situated around $6,200. If the following would be applied to Kazakhstan, an average citizen would have to earn or have in savings over 1,500,000 KZT, per month.

So, has Apple’s ship run its course? This will most likely be revealed and reflected in the sales figures after the product will be available to purchase in Apple stores, however at the moment, the 1% drop in stock price since WWDC does not constitute for an optimistic forecast for Apple.

Author: Abylay Aubakirov



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