The first review of Apple’s Vision Pro is here! See what they say above

At 10 o'clock last night, the confidentiality seal on Apple Vision Pro was officially lifted.

It was a sleepless night. We watched almost all the review videos from foreign media and summarized the highlights of this review for you. There are praises that are generous in praise, and there are also outspoken complaints.

Next, I will unveil the mystery of Vision Pro for you from the following five aspects:

  • Appearance design and wearing experience
  • Screen display effect
  • interactive experience
  • Software adaptation status
  • Summary of slots

Wear the Vision Pro on your head, it’s very cool

Vision Pro is not big, and is even smaller than any VR device we are familiar with in the past, although it appears to be large in the official promotional images.

Judging from the wearing demonstration by technology media The Verge, the Vision Pro is not very obtrusive and fits the face very well (maybe related to the host's body shape), so it is more popular in videos by foreign media such as Marques Brownlee, iJustine, and the Wall Street Journal. Like a pair of ski goggles, not a headset.

Compared with the current VR headsets on the market that are made of plastic materials, the material of Vision Pro is like a natural extension of Apple’s previous design language. It is made of magnesium and carbon fiber and uses an aluminum shell. In other words, it is very Apple style.

Before wearing it "on the head", the biggest highlight is the physical parts surrounding the device. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a collection of Apple products: the headband looks like AirPods Max, and the knob is a large Apple Watch crown.

Technology blogger Marques Brownlee showed off the details of the Vision Pro packaging, which includes two styles of headbands.

The braided strap is the most common one we see in promotional pictures, a wide headband that goes around the back of the head; the double-ring strap can be adjusted to suit different head shapes by adjusting the length and tightness of the two straps.

Several reviewers agree that a double-ring band is much more comfortable than a single band, even if it makes your hairstyle worse.

In addition, Brownlee also received an exclusive storage box for Vision Pro, but please note that it is not standard and needs to be purchased separately for $199. The texture is like a soft loaf of bread.

Vision Pro’s custom Zeiss lenses are individually packaged in a small box and installed magnetically. However, according to feedback from The Verge, using it with contact lenses will not affect the display effect at all.

The digital knob on the top of the device can be used to adjust the volume and immersion level. The Verge demonstrated two immersive display effects in its review. The semi-transparent mode allows you to see both the display and the real environment around the screen. ,

The button on the other side symmetrical to the knob is an exclusive button for shooting space videos and photos. According to tests by The Verge, the clarity of taking photos and recording videos is far inferior to that of your iPhone.

After being worn for a period of time, the Vision Pro will become hot like other devices, but according to The Verge’s actual testing experience, it will not get hot thanks to the built-in cooling fan of the device. What is commendable is that the Vision Pro's fan does not make any sound or vibration when it is working, and you can't even feel its existence.

There is a kind of fake thing called super 4K display

In pre-job training for Vision Pro, Apple clearly requires its employees not to use the word "VR" during presentation and promotion to users.

But The Verge gave Vision Pro a clear characterization in its review:

"It's a VR headset" In short, it is still a VR headset.

The reason why it is called VR is very simple. Vision Pro is not an OST (pure optical see-through) solution – the environment we see in Vision Pro is a reproduced image captured by a camera and then displayed by an optical machine, not the environment itself. .

But Vision Pro can almost deceive your eyes and restore reality to the greatest extent, thanks to Vision Pro's rich sensing components.

Apple uses a combination of 12 cameras (2 RGB cameras, 4 bottom-view cameras, 2 outside-view cameras, 4 inside infrared cameras) + 5 sensors (including 1 dToF sensor) to act as human eyes, to maximize the Make the external environment look more real.

Another contributor to the real thing is the MicroOLED display on the device, which has a total of 23 million pixels and a size of only 7.5 microns, which is about the size of a red blood cell.

The top configuration allows Vision Pro to achieve realistic "video pass-through", which is the ability to reproduce real scenes. The Verge highly approves of Vision Pro's video pass-through, which they believe is the core of Apple's head-mounted display experience.

Vision Pro's video pass-through latency is very low, with only a 12 millisecond gap from the shooting environment to the display. This also includes the exposure time of the camera itself, so the actual data processing speed will be faster.

This kind of response speed does not even delay one frame. Before watching the previous frame of video, the content of the next frame is ready. The Verge used actual measurements to prove the authenticity of 12 milliseconds. They used Vision Pro to refresh their phones, and there was no screen distortion or jittering display.

However, Vision Pro's display effect on the external environment varies depending on the brightness of the light. In dark light, there will be more noise, which is also a common problem of all VR glasses.

Space operating system – using the body as a remote control

At present, the interaction methods of smart wearable devices are roughly divided into three types:

  • The physical buttons on the surface of the device can be operated by sliding, pressing, rotating, etc.
  • External remote control devices, mobile phones, handles, rings, etc. serve as input devices.
  • Through gestures, voice and other operations.

The interaction of Apple Vision Pro belongs to the third type, which requires the cooperation of hands, eyes and mouth, and is implemented very thoroughly: the eyes act as cursor positioning (mouse cursor), the fingers are responsible for determination (right mouse button), and voice is used as the input method (keyboard).

The Verge rated

"This surpasses any hand-eye tracking system in the mass market."

Apple calls this system “Optic ID.” As long as Vision Pro sees your eyes, the interaction can be triggered.

Optic ID allows users to just look at the target they want to control, and then use corresponding gestures to perform any operation on the displayed interface. When The Verge first experienced this feature, he felt like he had "superpowers."

The Wall Street Journal also created a practical effect of "cyber cooking" by placing timers arbitrarily in the space. For friends who love to cook but always forget things, Vision Pro is useful.

Moreover, Vision Pro’s external camera has a very wide recognition area, and Vision Pro can capture hand commands almost anywhere on the front half of the body.

Other head-mounted devices generally require you to put your hands in front of the screen to operate the information on the screen, but Vision Pro can use the most natural posture to issue hand commands. Even if you put your hands on your legs and look straight ahead, you can easily implement Optic ID. interaction.

Software adaptation – an Easter egg and a minefield

The software adaptability of visionOS is one of the problems for Vision Pro to reach the mass market. After Vision Pro started pre-sale on January 19, the biggest news was that Netflix, YouTube and Spotify Technology SA did not plan to launch applications for Vision Pro.

Although there are currently only more than 250 applications designed specifically for visionOS, Apple can still bring considerable value to Vision Pro through the linkage of software and hardware within the ecosystem.

Linked to Mac

Vision Pro will give your Mac a huge 4K virtual display, and your Mac's keyboard and trackpad can directly serve as input devices for Vision Pro.

The linkage with Mac can be regarded as a good usage scenario for Vision Pro's VR function.

Vision Pro sees the Macbook in front of you through "Video Direct" and will display the "Link" option above it. After clicking it, you can cast the screen with one click, and the computer interface will be directly translated to the head-mounted display screen.

But it should be noted that although this screen can be stretched to 50 inches, it is only "one" display and cannot be "physically split" like connecting multiple displays to a Mac in real space.

Another point is that when connected to a Mac, you can continue to use applications in Vision Pro next to the window mapped to the Mac.

Relying on the Continuity feature, you can use your Mac's keyboard and mouse to control Vision Pro.

When typing with a Bluetooth keyboard, a text preview window will appear on the headset screen above your hand, and you can see what you are typing. This is the first time a mainstream device has provided true AR computing capabilities. The boundary between physical reality and virtual reality is These little features are broken.

When The Verge tested Vision Pro and used professional editing software such as Lightroom on a Mac, it was most like a productivity tool.

Linked with iPhone

The linkage with iPhone 15 Pro Max is called the "best feature" of Vision Pro by the verge: shooting space videos on the phone and watching them on Vision Pro. Currently, the iPhone can shoot the corresponding videos at 1080p 30fps or full 4K resolution. .

Although there are not many AR functions, Vision Pro integrates many MR/VR features. Especially in the immersive viewing mode, you can even choose the position you want to do. The imaging effect is also very realistic, and the colors on the screen are reflected. in the surrounding environment.

The Verge even feels that this will be the biggest and best TV that many people will ever own, and will have many features that traditional TVs cannot match.

Overall, visionOS is designed for eye tracking and is also designed based on iPadOS.

However, there are still obvious differences between visionOS and iPadOS. visionOS can run three systems including iPadOS and MacOS at one time. If too many windows are displayed, these windows can be closed through Siri and double-clicking the knob, just like sliding up three fingers on a Macbook to return to the desktop.

The Verge believes that "this is the most comprehensive window management system currently considered."

Next, enter the complaining stage

1. Very expensive – both expensive and heavy.

The weight of the device alone reaches 600-650 grams, plus the weight of the headband and shading pad, it can almost catch up with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (682 grams), although other brands of headsets will be heavier (such as the 722-gram Quest Pro), but with an all-in-one design, the battery becomes the part that balances the weight of the device. The split Vision Pro seems to solve the problem of battery weight, but the center of gravity of the whole machine moves forward, making the Apple headset less suitable for long periods of time. Wear.

Therefore, so far, Vision Pro has no real VR games and fitness software, and few people are willing to move around with a tablet on their face.

2. Limited vision

Vision Pro doesn’t have a field of view like the human eye, it’s more like looking at the world through binoculars. And there are colored edges at the edge of the lens, where the resolution is average, so the field of view is further compressed.

3. EyeSight is a bit scary

EyeSight is not as good as advertised. It is a dark, reflective, low-resolution OLED screen. If the ambient light is slightly brighter, it will be difficult to see the content displayed on it.

To put it simply, the display effect is not as impressive as Apple’s promotional images.

Eyes are windows for communication. Vision Pro, which claims to "break the communication barrier," actually fails to overcome the isolation barrier of VR. The Verge has repeatedly mentioned using "in there" to describe the feeling of using Vision Pro. There is no real eye contact between the user and the person communicating because of eyesight, and the display effect itself is a bit "creepy".

4. Eye tracking is a bit tiring

While eye tracking is easy to use, it also creates some troubles: it cannot be operated blindly. It forces you to look at the part you want to manipulate, which is completely opposite to what we are used to when using input devices on mobile phones and computers. It can even be distracting, because few people will pay attention to the position of the mouse, but on Vision Pro , you have to do it.

5. Face Modeling—A Cruel Buyer Show

Before making a Facetime video call, you need to model yourself.

The Wall Street Journal showed the entire process of face modeling in its review:

Face the Vision Pro towards yourself and follow the voice prompts to change the head position and facial expressions, and the device can create the user's 3D face in about a minute.

However, the resulting cybernetic image is stiff and looks like a wax figure. The host of the Wall Street Journal used Vision Pro to make a video call with friends, but was criticized as "like having too much Botox."

6. Hair killer – headband

No matter which kind of headband, it will mess up your hair. Compared with double-loop straps, single-loop braided straps are much better.

7. A loudspeaker that tells the world

The Vision Pro's loud external sound is an advantage, but too loud a sound is a disadvantage. Unless you wear headphones, people around you can definitely hear what you are doing.

Foreign media bloggers who tested Vision Pro for the first time also gave some summary comments. We selected three more pertinent ones:

Wall Street Journal:

For now, the Vision Pro offers a great way to work and watch movies, so is it worth $3,500? It depends on your wallet. But in the 24 hours I've been using it, I can see Apple's future vision here.

iJustine:

The only problem is that a lot of the footage I've shown you, it's not as good as the Vision Pro actually does, it actually looks so sharp and everything looks so real.
You have to try it, and if you're not going to buy one, find a (bought) friend to try it out in guest mode.
Not only Apple, but also many other brands, I think they will move in the direction of spatial computing.

The Verge:

Since I first put on the Vision Pro, the questions that have popped up in my mind include the following:

* Would you like to use a computer that messes up your hair every time you put it on?

* If you wear makeup, would you want to use a computer that could ruin your makeup every time you wear it?

* Would you like to use a computer that might be restricted by Disney from capturing what you see?

* Do you want a computer that can't easily share what you watch with others?

* Do you think your most luxurious TV should have HDMI input?

* Do you want to use a computer that performs poorly in dimly lit environments?

* Would you like to use a computer that is always monitoring your hand movements?

Vision Pro is the product of many tradeoffs, the biggest of which is that using Vision Pro is a lonely experience.

That's fine for traditional VR headsets, which have largely been transformed into dedicated gaming consoles over the past decade, but as a primary computing tool, this isolation is jarring.

I don't want to do my work in Vision Pro. My work requires collaboration with people, and I prefer to be with them in the real world.

The above is a summary of the highlights of the world's first test of Vision Pro. We can finally explore the true content of "spatial computing" from the perspective of the first batch of users. But since I haven’t personally experienced it yet, I can only say that it’s just looking at the plum blossoms to quench my thirst. More details are still unknown.

But soon, Aifaner will bring you real and interesting review content of Vision Pro, because the one we bought arrived on Friday.

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