The Panel Reacts: Is the Vision Pro for Everyone, or Just Enthusiasts?
Hear from Adobe’s Scott Belsky, Semafor’s Reed Albergotti, and more Big Technology Panel members on the potential ceiling for Apple’s new XR device.
I put on Apple’s Vision Pro headset for the first time this weekend. The technology was even better than I expected. The device’s mixed reality passthrough was near-perfect, blending the physical and digital worlds seamlessly. And it wasn’t too heavy either. If I hadn’t found the $3,500 price tag impossible to justify, I might’ve just been one of the guys using it in the crosswalk.
But after seeing the Vision Pro’s debut, I’ve wondered just who it is for.
Is it for developers? Enterprise users? The general consumer? And what’s its potential exactly? To find out, I emailed the Big Technology Panel, a (growing) group of 30+ tech insiders who share their thoughts (when applicable) on big breaking news in the moment. Here’s what they said:
This is a two-year “public beta trial,” where Apple can observe and develop use cases, refine the hardware and UX, and only then will it make sense to scale into a wider market. It's also great (classic Apple) marketing, and will bring people into stores for demos where they will be sold high-margin wearables and accessories!
Richard Kramer, Analyst at Arete Research Services
I've always thought that the killer app for XR will be productivity, and after a few hours of coding in the Vision Pro I can say that the experience is almost there — once the software supports multiple screens it'll be better than my physical setup. I think the price point is too high for this to go mainstream, and it's still too heavy (I couldn't wear it for multiple hours every day), but I'm very excited for the Vision Pro 2.
Ben Lerner, CEO of Espresso AI
Normally, when Apple starts selling a new product category like a phone, a watch, or a laptop, you start seeing those things in the wild and those early adopters become an extension of Apple's marketing and are often evangelists. But the Vision Pro is a solitary device that you use mainly in the privacy of your own home and it probably goes in a drawer somewhere once you're done using it (Maybe hardcore Apple fans will put it on display). I wonder if Apple tried to quantify how that reality will affect the speed of adoption.
Adding an addendum: After I wrote this, someone sent me this TikTok video. People are walking around with the goggles on, air pinching as they cross the street. But I’m not sure if this will make people want to buy this thing or give up on humanity.
Reed Albergotti, Technology editor at Semafor (you can sign up for Semafor’s tech newsletter here)
, Adobe Chief Strategy Officer, Executive Vice President of Design & Emerging Products (read more from Scott at Implications)
I was especially struck by the following elements: (1) Select with your eyes and pinch with your fingers on your lap is the breakthrough gesture innovation much like “touch” was for the iPhone. (2) Environment selection - It was an incredible sensation to select my environment for my work. (3) Family spatial shots - the ability to capture and “re-live” a moment with your family and friends is powerful. (4) Sports and “seats you can’t buy” — I’m no sports fanatic, but I was blown away by the short clips I experienced of an NBA game and a MLB game. In both cases, I was sitting on the court or field and felt completely immersed in the game to the point where I felt I could get hit with a ball or trampled over.
The Vision Pro will be a flop by Apple standards but still be critical in the long term by kickstarting adoption of VR tech in a significant way. Apple remains the best at product marketing, and strapping a computer to your face needs that.
Brian Morrissey, author of
Hands-On With the Vision Pro on Big Technology Podcast, with and WSJ’s
Great Quarter, Guys
We talked Tesla, Alphabet., Microsoft, Meta, Apple, and Amazon on Great Quarter, Guys, a new show from The Compound. Tune in for a deep but fun look at where these companies stand and where they're heading with Josh Brown, Michael Batnick, Dan Ives, and myself. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back on Friday with more!