Your Majesty

Apple Vision Pro Review: High Hopes & Mixed Feelings

During a trip stateside, Managing Director Georgios Athanassiadis finally got his hands on the Apple Vision Pro. Is it worth the hefty price tag? And how could it be used in brand and marketing?

I was in NYC a while back, and in between client meetings, I dropped by the Apple Store for the Vision Pro demo.

As a European (we’re late to the game, I know), I was eager to finally find out what the fuzz is all about.

Here are my first impressions:

1. A beauty in my hands – a beast on my face

It’s a remarkable piece of hardware that looks like it costs $3,500. However, when I strap it on my face and look in the mirror, I realize there will never be a day when I will look cool wearing this thing.

When the glassholes 3.0. are done milking the novelty for attention, I don’t think anyone will use this device outside of their homes or offices.

2. It just works

Classic Apple UX magic — the Vision Pro is super intuitive to use.

Within a few seconds, I got a handle on how it works and could effortlessly navigate and organize windows and apps as I wanted them to appear.

The hand and eye tracking is incredible; it felt like it could even see my fingers while my hands were under the table.

3. The real world — shot on Android

Everything in the Vision Pro that is supposed to be in the UI, the OS, browser windows, apps, media, etc, looks amazing. It’s high-definition, crisp, colorful, and very immersive.

The real world, however… looks as if it was shot on Android (you've seen the memes). The latency is just enough for my brain to understand that it’s not real-life passing through but a camera feed.

I understand why the engineers did this: to ensure the virtual elements "feel real." But even if it’s 100x better than, say, the Magic Leap, which does real passthrough at the expense of virtual elements, it’s not good enough to be the future I want to live in.

4. It’s straining on eyes and neck

My Apple demo was 25 minutes long, and after I took the thing off, my neck was tired, and my eyes strained. It also has the same VR-burn problem as any other VR headset since it's sitting on my face. This makes me doubt that anyone would prefer working on this thing over having a good screen setup.

I think it will take a couple of years before the form factor is small/light enough and the software is fine-tuned.

5. Multiple screens floating in space— impressive, but how useful?

Browsing Your Majesty’s new website on a cinema-sized screen was cool for a while, and I can totally see immersive video and photography being the biggest use case for the Vision Pro, they look stunning and feels like the future.

However, most people are used to having one, maybe two big screens to work with. I’m not sure the ability to have three, five or more "screens" will make anyone more productive. On the contrary, I can see this just making people more distracted and less focused.

Credit: Apple / Vision Pro

For $3,500, it’s not worth the investment

Except for a few use-cases, I think it’s better to wait for a second or third generation before making the splurge on the Vision Pro.

Short-lived for personal use

At home, I can see it as an expensive party trick that will make me the center of attention for a few get-togethers with friends and family.

But as soon as everyone have tried it, I think it will go the same fate as the Oculus—left collecting dust on a shelf.

Why? For daily media consumption, it’s simply easier to put on the TV or swipe on my iPhone—which also offer killer features such as shared experiences with the rest of the household if I want to.

Potential for company innovation

For companies looking to the future, it’s a great piece of hardware that shows promise for what’s to come in spatial computing.

By all means, it’s worth experimenting with for a forward-thinking organization that hope to be ready for prime time once this technology finally reach maturity.

However, consider that for the same price, you can get your team seven sets of Meta Quest 3, offering similar tech, which probably will result in them coming up with cooler things, faster.

Narrow for reaching new audiences

It’s the best mixed reality headsets on the market, and due to it’s high price-tag is currently only for wealthier people and early adopters.

Still, considering the device's modest sales numbers, it’s not yet a vehicle for reaching mass audiences.

But if the above mentioned cohort is your brands audience, there is definitely opportunities for the Vision Pro to building deeper connections with those audiences. Most notably in luxury and gaming.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Here are three ways it can be applied today

Immersive product demos

Offering potential customers a highly interactive, engaging and personalised demo is perfect for high-ticket items like luxury cars.

We worked with Bentley a few years ago on an immersive and personalized event experience for potential buyers. For these type of niche audiences, the Vision Pro can add tons of value, offer memorable experiences and enable virtual custom creation. It just requires that the audience has access to the devices.

Live Events & Activations

There’s an opportunity to augment live events and experiences by providing immersive and interactive events for attendees and fans. In particular those that can't access the live event or premium spots, like court side tickets at the NBA or VIP seats at Taylor Swift’s concerts.

An interesting example is Virtex Stadium, which recreates live, virtual esports events in 3D.

Fans can access the event online and via VR/AR, can jump into the gameplay and experience the esports match around them as it plays out in real time.

Personalized Experiences

Whilst widespread personalized marketing would require more adoption of the headset itself, the Vision Pro has potential to enhance the marketing and purchasing experience – in particular for high-ticket items.

We worked with Sotheby’s, one of the world’s first auction houses and the marketplace for art and one-of-a-kind luxury objects, to reimagine how its physical catalogs can be translated to virtual space. It’s easy to imagine a not-too-distant-future where collectors will be able to experience the Sotheby’s collection of lots and curate their own immersive personalized, and private, tours using the technology.

With any new technology, it takes time for the price to drop and the masses to get on board.

And as with my own experience, it’s unlikely that everyone will be rushing to get their hands on this beautiful but heavy piece of hardware even when it becomes more affordable.

However for some unique industries, luxury automotive, gaming, fashion, etc, the Vision Pro offers promise about more engaging brand and marketing activations.

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