TechnologyApple Vision Pro: we've already tried it! Here is our first...

Apple Vision Pro: we’ve already tried it! Here is our first take

It’s not every day that Apple invites us into its research and development lab. And yet this is what the manufacturer is offering with the Vision Pro, and to discover nothing less than the future of computing (according to the manufacturer)! Be careful though, at $3,500 the entry ticket is steep…

01net.com has got its hands on the most coveted item of the moment: an Apple Vision Pro headset. The opportunity for us to embark on a journey into the future (of computing) and a new, spatial way of designing the individual computer. The time will come for a complete and detailed test of this product that is truly unlike any other, but in the meantime, we first wanted to share with you our first impressions at the end of this first day spent wearing a helmet.

It’s impossible to have a definitive opinion on the Vision Pro after a few hours spent with the headset. When there is no one to explain to you how things work (understand: no one from Apple to tell you what to do), getting started takes a little time to get the hang of it.

A helmet that obeys the finger and the eye

The most difficult concept to grasp is also the most essential: it is the eye which acts as a cursor. No need to want to touch the icons with your finger! And there’s no need to move your head either: only your gaze is taken into account. On the other hand, you must also have perfect control, so to speak, of the basic gesture: touching your thumb and index finger to validate an action.

You still need to understand how visionOS, the Vision Pro operating system, works to find your way around. But as we learned navigation with a mouse, then by touching a screen with our finger, this new gymnastics will probably end up coming home (one day)!

Rest assured, the first configuration of the Vision Pro explains things well, but once alone in the deep end, you can get lost trying to move a stubborn window or quite simply to cancel an action (which always poses a problem for us a few problems after several hours of testing).

With the Dual Loop headband. © 01net

Fortunately, things become easier to understand as you proceed. And above all, we end up understanding that the Vision Pro is not a smooth surface like an iPhone or an iPad, but an infinite screen on which you can drop and place the windows of your favorite apps. All from the comfort of your own home (or on the Moon, it’s up to you!).

The “passthrough” cameras that capture the user’s environment to broadcast it in front of their eyes do a much better job than those of the Quest – which admittedly is not sold at the same price. It becomes possible to read a notification on the Apple Watch or its Mac screen without having to remove the headset. Be careful though, the camera requires that the room be reasonably lit. And when you return to the small screen of your Mac, or even worse that of your iPhone, the world seems very narrow…

Vision Pro 1
Under the Vision Pro, the cameras that detect hands. © 01net

The other pitfall to overcome is that of maintaining it on the head. Several sizes of headbands are available, when ordering you must carry out a scan of your face so that Apple determines the correct format. But it is essential to be able to test the chosen size in store, in order to avoid a good dose of frustration!

A solo device

Since the main method of interaction is eye tracking, the internal cameras must be well positioned in front of the eyes. When this is the case, everything is fine but this adjustment step is critical! Once you get the hang of it, it seems more natural. We did not feel any particular discomfort with the headband Solo Knitbut it is true that by testing the harness Dual Loopit is clearly the latter which will be our headband of choice in the future.

The weight of the Vision Pro didn’t bother us too much, however we only wore it for a few hours at a time. On the other hand, we already feel that the dangling wired battery could well be the big drawback of this device. We will have to learn to live with it: with its 600 grams or so on the scale, the Vision Pro without its battery is already heavier than a Quest 3 (516 grams) which itself includes its battery.

Vision Pro 5
A Mac screen surrounded by visionOS apps. The future ! © 01net

We also had the opportunity to test the Disney+ environments with a 3D film (Avatar 2). The relief effect is quite striking, and the fact that you can enlarge the screen (not to infinity unfortunately) has everything you need to forget about 3D televisions and other glasses to wear to the cinema! Unfortunately, that doesn’t make the film any better, but that’s another story.

It’s still too early to get a better idea of ​​the Vision Pro’s entertainment capabilities. There is, however, one sure and certain confirmation: despite Apple’s efforts to reduce the isolation of the headset wearer – for example with the EyeSight screen – the Vision Pro undoubtedly remains a solo experience. But we will have the opportunity to come back to it in our test which will be much more complete! For this, see you in a few days.

Beyond the fun but quickly exhausting Futuroscope or Disneyland funfair effects, the Vision Pro hides a new way of being productive and it is this aspect that could well allow Apple to establish its vision of spatial computing .

Do you have questions about the Vision Pro? Don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments! We will try to answer it.

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