Let's start with science fiction and how we imagine it—the time travelling; phasers; light sabers. It's what makes the future so alluring. That the things we imagine are made real. Of course, there are always the pesky constraints of real-world physics that prevent such wonders to stay shackled in the realm of the mind. But sometimes a little stubbornness goes a long way. Such is the case of Apple and its entry into the mixed reality game: the Vision Pro.

From your View-Masters (remember those) to the Oculus Rift, we have been creating "headsets that immerse you into another reality". (To set the record straight, we're not talking about augmented reality, which is digital content overlaid over the real world but mixed reality that integrates digital objects into the user's environment.)

Apple may not have pioneered mixed reality but it sure is gonna leave its competitor in its wake of "spatial computing".

We tried the Apple Vision Pro (or the AVP, which shares the same initialism with Aliens Versus Predator) and the visuals are, for the lack of a better word, magical. It's magical that you're able to look at an icon and double tapping your fingertips would open up the programme. It's magical that you don't get the bends from being in an immersive video. And, it is so magical that you can open up multiple windows and... work became fun? It felt like that Jonny Mnemonic scene.

One of the ways that the AVP is able to process the workload is a sneaky thing called "foveated rendering". Because it tracks your eye, it only renders what your eyes are looking at: stare at a window and it comes into clear. Look at another window and that becomes sharp. If you think about it, that's how our eyes work anyway.

The hardware of this is incredible. Made of magnesium and carbon fibre, there are twelve cameras—from tracking of your hands to spatial tracking—positioned throughout the headset. There's an M2 processor and an R1 spatial co-processor to deliver a smooth performance. The eye tracking is a cinch and there's no lag in the video passthrough.

On the corners of the goggles are a digital crown that adjusts the volume and the immersion and a button that you can depress to take photos and videos. There are speakers fixed to the arms of the Vision Pro but if the volume goes past a certain level, everybody else around you are privy to what you're hearing.

The AVP's Persona feature is kinda weird. Think of a Persona as your avatar. Your Pesona will reflect youryour facial expressions (sticking out your tongue; gesticulate with your hands), it has fringes of the Uncanny Valley. It. You can FaceTime or enter into an online meeting with them; they would appear and the hairs on your arm will rise a little. But after a while, you get used to it. And then their Personas kinda look like ghosts in your living room. Except they are presenting a PowerPoint.

If you're wondering, why not use a memoji? And the only reason I can think of is that if you're in a business meeting, there has to be a level of professionalism so a unicorn or a poop memoji may not fly. Then, again, it would be nice to have options. Perhaps in the next VisionOS upgrade.

By the way, there's an announcement that there would be a VisionOS 2, where you can create spatial photos from your 2D images, have new gesture controls and an enhanced Persona—accurate skin tone, clothing colour options. Who knows, maybe there would be an inclusion of memojis?

Is the writer opening up an app or is he dead?

The Downsides

The price is expensive. Like SGD5,299 expensive. But that's to justify the years of R&D and the components. You hold the AVP in your hands and it feels nice. And I suspect that months later, people wouldn't blink at the price tag. I remember when mobile phones retailed at four digits and my uncle self thought, welp, I'm not paying that much for a compact supercomputer. A year or two later, that sort of pricing for a mobile phone became normalise.

To fit in all that goodness that makes the AVP work its magic, it will have some weight to it. To be fair, it weighs about 649g. That's equivalent to a medium-sized chinchilla or a bag of Cadbury Triple Pack Mixed Eggs. Not that heavy, right? But when you're wearing the AVP that's outfitted with a Solo Knit Band on your face, after a while, you're gonna feel it in your face and because of my terrible posture, my neck will compensate for the weight and I'll hunch even further.

As a remedy, you can swap out the Solo Knit Band for the Dual Loop Band, which gives better weight distribution. Or, if you're a stubborn cock like me and you find it leceh to change to a Dual Loop Band, you can wear it lying down.

If you're worried about the tension in your neck, don't worry; you'll know its time to put down the AVP when it runs out of battery at two hours of general use.

I kid.


It's not perfect but this is a game changer. It possesses the tech of today to The AVP shown what is possible and yet also poses what else can be done. We don't think that Apple is done with the Vision Pro; there's a roadmap and it's gonna take a few generations of the AVP before it gets to that stage, where you can't ignore it any longer. Like the first-gen iPod or the first-gen iPhone, the AVP has raised the bar and the other brands are gonna have to play catch-up.

It's a promise of a future, one that is bright with potential and all it took was an Apple Vision Pro for that glimpse.

The Apple Vision Pro is out now.