I thought I was braced for anything and everything.

A couple of weeks ago, I’d gone to an Apple store and been told that the Vision Pro was not merely visionary, but primarily a work tool.

It’ll “blow your mind,” I was told.

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How many times in your life have you been offered that promise? And how many times have you resisted seeing if it’s true?

I couldn’t, of course, so I made an appointment to have my mind blown, my reality altered and my pocket picked.

The booking process was simple. When I arrived at the very busy Apple store, the saleswoman who greeted me thanked me for wearing green pants. “You’ll be easy to find,” she said.

Spatial computing isn’t for Zuckers

Soon I was in the hands of a Vision Pro expert who would guide me toward the future. Naturally, he wanted to know why I wanted to try the new device.

I explained that I wanted to see if Mark Zuckerberg was right in suggesting it was an inferior product to the Meta Quest.

The Apple salesman laughed. “The Quest?,” he said. “This is nothing like the Quest. This is spatial computing.”

It’s interesting how Apple embraces a terminology and all its employees are encouraged to repeat it. I wonder how many customers find it truly persuasive.

Still, the salesman tested the prescription lenses on my glasses and prepared Zeiss inserts that would work with the Vision Pro. And work they did.

Also: I bought custom lenses for my headset, but not every eyeglass wearer needs them. Do you?

Soon, I was placing the Vision Pro on my head. Even sooner than that I was uttering an involuntary “Whoa.”

I can quite understand why so many believe the Vision Pro is the future. You put it on and you’re instantly somewhere else, even though you can also see that you’re also still in the Apple store with the vividly enthusiastic salesman.

Yet the world around you — and inside your head — is fundamentally altered. You have a new perspective, there before your eyes.

An initial couple of questions emerged: When was the last time a product made me utter “Whoa?” And: Will the world ever look the same again?

Yes, it just works

The salesman then took me through the gestures, which were startlingly simple. And, oddly, worked hitchlessly.

Pinching my fingers — keep the gesture horizontal — instantly became as natural as swiping up on my iPhone. Zooming in and out recalled my (non-existent) career clutching the baton before the London Philharmonic.

Yes, you too can be the conductor of your brave new world.

Also: I tried Apple Vision Pro for a weekend and here are my 3 biggest takeaways

The whole thing reminded me of an Apple essence: It just works. I hadn’t imagined it would translate so effortlessly into such a complex product.

Moreover, the eye-tracking was also blindingly simple and accurate.

A few years ago, I was invited by a company called Eyefluence to experience its eye-tracking via an HTC Vive. After a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, you understand. (Eyefluence was subsequently bought by Google.)

Even then, I’d been startled by the sheer otherworldliness of the experience. With the Vision Pro, you can simply do things with your eyes that you never thought possible.

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This, I suspect, is why some see it as a completely different future. When your body can suddenly do things you never imagined it could do, you experience a peculiar mixture of enhanced power and marginal contempt for your life until this moment.

The salesman then took me through some of the Vision Pro’s capabilities.

Photos — all taken on an iPhone 15 Pro, naturally — suddenly took on a three-dimensional quality. Yet the people in them oddly resembled effigies at Madame Tussaud’s. Their skin took on a waxy quality that was a touch disturbing.

Panorama images, though, were spectacular. You turn your head and the image is all around you, enveloping you in its environment.

Movies took on an IMAX quality. But wait, why did the salesman play me a Super Mario cartoon, rather than, say, Succession or Ted Lasso? Perhaps he thought my green pants were childlike.

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I had to stop him for a moment, though.

I’d been told in my previous visit to an Apple store that this was a work device, yet here he was eliciting a succession of whoa’s — not an expression I use too often at work, other than in the meaning of “please stop.”

The Vision Pro, you see, is heavy. It also created — for me, at least — a hot head. I’m not sure I could work with it for more than a short time.

The salesman replied: “I use it for work eight or nine hours at a time.” He said he didn’t find it heavy, but did use an extra strap over the top of his head for support.

Which led me to a digression about AI. If the Vision Pro was the future, wasn’t he worried about AI’s domination of it?

Also: 7 reasons why people are returning Apple Vision Pro

“I was worried about AI, when ChatGPT first came out,” he said. “But now I feel it’s just a product of things we do and think, so I think it’s alright.”

Another couple of questions emerged: Has the tech industry now constructed all the pillars of life for the next, perhaps, 50 years? And: Have we been seduced, step by step, into separating ourselves from the physical world?

How much do I love my what?

Soon, though, we were back in the land of entertainment and immersive videos.

It was fine watching former BlackBerry spokesperson Alicia Keys singing with her band, but when the salesman suddenly switched to a video that placed me at the top of a cliff with a sheer three-hundred-foot drop, I experienced a different kind of whoa.


I don’t really suffer from severe vertigo, but this was a touch much for my head’s own spatial computing system.

Still, I couldn’t fail to feel a sense of faint wonder at this 20-minute trip into the wonderland of the alleged future. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, that I could only watch movies alone with this device.

“I usually watch movies with my wife,” I explained. “You can’t really do that with this thing, can you?”

Also: The day reality became unbearable: A peek beyond Apple’s headset

“How much do you love your wife?” he replied.

He went on to explain that there is, indeed, a sharing facility with the Vision Pro. It’s just that one’s wife would have to have her own Vision Pro. So that would be a smooth $8,000 investment for an evening in the future.

Yes, the future — as currently known — involves both you and your wife sitting with masks on and watching a movie together.

“I love my wife very much,” I said. “So I know that if I came home with two Vision Pros, she’d suggest I seek treatment.”

The salesman laughed, but I had another thought: “Also, we like to cuddle when we watch movies and if we both had these masks on that wouldn’t be so easy. We’d bang goggles, right?”

Finally, I’d stumped him. Finally, I realized the future was, as yet, not fully formed. He was, akin to so many Apple salespeople, a very polished performer but this clearly hadn’t been covered in his training.

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And then I thought back to the images he’d shown me from the photo app. Here was a man, all alone in Iceland. Here was a man, all alone in Oregon.

These were curious choices and somehow enhanced the idea of the potential isolationism of the product.

If you haven’t tried a Vision Pro demo, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a mesmerizing peek into the future.

But perhaps the biggest question I ended up asking myself was: What will I become if I commit myself to this new world?


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