We can laugh all we want about the first videos mocking early adopters of Apples brand new Vision Pro headset in various public places but we might need to get used to people showing off their first and probably not last spatial computing headset, even in unsafe environments. Despite Apples explicit warning, a video of an early adopter getting arrested operating the headset while driving a Tesla already went viral less than 24 hours after broad availability.
Apple’s first VR/AR headset, which is never called that way by the manufacturer, has seen broad availability in the USA since Friday, February 2, 2024, after influencers and some journalists had already given their initial assessments on Apples first spatial computing device in the past weeks. Vanity Fair’s cover story showing Apple-CEO Tim Cook proudly wearing his first new product in years may have only been an early sign of things to come after Apple fans got their hands on this $3500+ headset.
Extreme cringe: Apple Store ritual for first Vision Pro buyer
Giving a round of applause to the first buyer of a new product as they leave the store has been a long tradition at Apple stores in the US, yet the video below outside the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York City is considered to be an extreme case of cringe by most observers.
24 hours later: Vision Pro has arrived in public spaces
Mixed reality headsets are of course nothing new in the world of tech, but so far they have mostly been confined to private spaces with the exception of the brief Google Glass episodes a decade ago or the isolated cases of people wearing Meta’s Ray-Ban glasses, both of which appear much more discreet than Apple’s comparatively monumental and heavy spatial computing headgear. Nevertheless, we will apparently have to get used to proud Vision Pro users in public spaces, if the first 24 hours after the release in the US are any sign of things to come.
$3,500 headset in the New York subway
Like this man who used Apple’s Vision Pro on the New York subway and apparently wasn’t worried at all that his fancy new gadget might get stolen. As tech analyst and Vision Pro owner Max Weinbach pointed out on X (formally twitter) however, it would pretty much be worthless to the thief as he would first have to overcome Apple’s iris recognition to gain access.
Wearing the Vision Pro in the park or gym: “The future is here”
In the USA at least, early Vision Pro users are definitely not shying away from appearing in public. These proud techies showing off their new toy can be seen in the park or at the gym already.
Early adopter gets arrested wearing Vision Pro while driving
An then there are those cases where wearing a VR-headset in public raises safety concerns. Apple explicitly advises against using the Vision Pro in situations where a failure of the device could lead to injury. Although cameras and seemingly very low latencies ensure an almost real-time view of the surroundings, device failure, brief interruptions or simply distraction could still lead to dangerous situations quickly.
Despite this, one pedestrian was already observed crossing a road in San Jose, clearly busy getting stuff done in virtual space. A pretty extreme case is the viral video below showing a Tesla driver operating his new spatial computing device while driving on the highway. This is obviously illegal in all US states and led to an arrest less than 24 hours after the Vision Pro was released to the public. A cybertruck driver was also spotted wearing the headset while driving (last video)
As a young tech enthusiast with a history involving assembling and overclocking projects, I ended up working as a projectionist with good old 35-mm films before I entered the computer world at a professional level. I assisted customers at an Austrian IT service provider called Iphos IT Solutions for seven years, working as a Windows client and server administrator as well as a project manager. As a freelancer who travels a lot, I have been able to write for Notebookcheck from all corners of the world since 2016. My articles cover brand-new mobile technologies in smartphones, laptops, and gadgets of all kinds.
Alexander Fagot, 2024-02- 4 (Update: 2024-02- 4)