Apple is turning on the hype machine for Vision Pro, its first mixed reality headset which is set to release early next month for $3,500. Apple’s marketing department is undeniably one of the world’s strongest, but it’s attempting one of the most difficult feats with the headset’s first real advert: to make wearing goggles cool.
Modern headsets are lighter and more compact that ever—the shoebox form-factor of old has mostly gone away thanks to the inclusion of pancake optics and overall closer integration of custom parts—but there’s still inherent societal friction involved with wearing the XR kit of today. To many people, headsets just look weird.
In Vision Pro’s release date video, called ‘Get Ready’, instead of highlighting all of the cool things it can do, the Cupertino Fruit Company has turned to pop culture to get people used to the idea of wearing goggles. Apple’s advert highlights adventurers and superheroes of all types, from Luke Skywalker to Ironman, basically underlining that an adventure awaits, and goggles are merely a part of the costume. If only the adventure they showed wasn’t a glorified iPad app drawer…
Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but it’s not unjustified. Apple Vision Pro is set to include a host of really cool capabilities that we aren’t seeing here, and it’s a shame that the first thing they could think of showing after invoking Doc Brown’s famous “we don’t need roads” line from Back to the Future (1985) was something so comparatively banal.
Apple is ostensibly approaching this piecemeal though. Maybe it wants to tell us goggles are cool first, but not really tell us why? Maybe later we get a better idea of why Apple thinks Vision Pro is cool, possibly a little closer to its February 2nd ship date?
Maybe something about its intuitive ‘look and tap’ input method? Or maybe its best-in-class (ok, at $3,500 is basically alone there) virtual displays with excellent clarity? The ability to record and rewatch memories? The ability to play virtual and mixed reality games? We don’t know exactly what Apple wants to highlight, but we’re certain to learn soon.
Maybe (I know, that’s a lot of ‘maybe’s) Apple doesn’t need to tell us at all though. Apple fans who have the disposable income to take a gamble on a $3,500 headset, which hopes to be a general-purpose computing device, may not need any more justification than Apple saying Vision Pro is cool, and leaving it at that.
Whatever the case, those are just a few reasons to get excited about Apple’s entrance into head-mounted displays. Check out our hands-on with Apple Vision Pro to find out more.
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