May 26, 2024

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Apple Vision Pro are "odd days" for spatial computing

Apple Vision Pro are “odd days” for spatial computing

after you Slips On the headband knitted and turned A small tweak for a lightweight fit, seeing the real world with Apple’s Vision Pro headset is almost seamless. almost. You don’t see the world through a transparent lens, but instead stream real-time video from external cameras onto a pair of better-than-4K screens.

Colors were crisp, lag was non-existent, and the resolution was high enough to be free of the screen door effect that plagues other VR or mixed reality headsets. But there is enough gap between experience and real life to fall into an uncanny valley. That’s why a hands-on, on-drive test of the Vision Pro takes place Apple WWDC event last week It made me think of the 1995 cyberpunk noir movie strange days. In film, 3D recordings of real events can be recreated and replayed through wearable technology, and the slight flattening of reality in Vision Pro reminded me of these virtual memories.

Stranger is still the experience of watching new 3D videos recorded through Vision Pro and played to me like a high-tech pop-up greeting card. I expect this to be a premium feature of the device, which will cost $3,500 and be available sometime in early 2024.

More dead than dead

Most other things related to Vision Pro It was an improvement Or the evolution of features already on devices such as Meta QuestAnd HoloLensAnd or PSVR. Meta (formerly Oculus) Quest, for example, began pushing virtual office environments with floating video chats and wall-sized spreadsheets when parent company Meta rebranded itself as the leader in the metaverse. And augmented reality devices like the HoloLens and Magic Leap already offer a view rooted in the real world, with augmented content carefully layered on top.

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Vision Pro plays with both of these concepts, allowing you to install apps, videos, and web browser windows around you. It improves on what came before by selectively allowing elements of reality to intrude – like a real-world visitor visibly bleeds through the virtual background by mere proximity.

The cloth headgear was an improvement over other VR headgear I've tried.

The cloth headgear was an improvement over other VR headgear I’ve tried.
picture: Dan Ackerman

Virtual visitors can also intrude on your mixed reality experience. What we could call default avatars for FaceTime calls were, In AppleSpeak, dubbed “people.” they He was The most impressive and most disturbing part of the experience.

If I didn’t know the personality of the person I was talking to in real time to recreate a 3D image of a real person’s face, I might have been tricked into thinking I was watching a live video feed. The 3D face scans, which Apple says you’ll be able to create from scratch using the headset’s external depth-sensing cameras, are very natural, especially at first glance. Can you impersonate a family member? No, at least not yet. But if this is the Day One beta, we’re just a few iterations away from that. I’m sure Apple will rely on identifying a device’s eye-scanning for security to shut down fake face phishing, but it’s going to be a constant cat-and-mouse game to prevent it.

Without much effort

Avoid portable consoles, though Vision Pro relies almost entirely on simple gesture controls. Many of the pinch and swipe movements feel similar to those used in Quest, but there is one major difference. In Quest, trying to accurately use gesture controls feels like playing a carnival game – it requires a steady eye and serious focus. HVin then, can be hit or miss. quest is It’s not smooth enough to use full time, so you have to keep it Portable consoles nearby.

The Vision Pro’s simple hand gestures, which are often tapped to tap and swipe from side to side, work every time. The required hand and finger movements are subtle, can be activated from your lap, and augmented by eye tracking to select options from a menu. It’s miles beyond the Quest’s gesture control capability, as it should be for a device that costs seven miles many times.

name game

During the WWDC keynote and subsequent hands-on demo sessions, Apple avoided even mentioning buzzwords Like VR or AI. Instead, Vision Pro is described as “spatial computing device that use machine learning.

Now, this isn’t the first rodeo in a VR headset. I first experienced modern virtual reality Back in 2012 When I tried out a prototype Oculus Rift. I know a VR headset when I see one, and I know the Vision Pro It is a very fancy, very nice and very expensive VR headset.

Somehow, the design of VR goggles has become almost complete since that 2012 demo. The new Vision Pro is accurately described as looking like a pair of high-tech ski goggles. The original Rift model I saw was literally built into a pair of real ski goggles with a screen pushed inside and the outside covered in black tape.

The original crack was bulky and uncomfortable, and its lack of motion sickness mitigating techniques meant my stomach was in knots for the rest of the day after using it. Vision Pro feels a million times more evolved, showing how virtual reality hardware and software have taken huge leaps in the relatively short 10 years. Despite its lighter weight and comfort features, I hadn’t forgotten that I was wearing the Vision Pro during the demo period, but my brain quickly adjusted to being just a few notches away from reality.

The idea of ​​working in a virtual office surrounded by giant floating app windows doesn’t necessarily excite me, and the isolation issues inherent in any head-mounted wearable are amplified by the high price tag — it’s hard to imagine any household buying multiple headphones, or even one, though. All the features of home entertainment. But the slightly voyeuristic excitement of making and playing 3D videos is that strange days Impact – sets the Vision Pro experience apart from other headphones I’ve tried and makes it standard in the future Future virtual, augmented, or spatial experiences will be judged.

Read more: Here’s what early testers had to say about Apple’s Vision Pro Headphones