April 19, 2024
Apple Vision Pro review: The promise of spatial computing fulfilled


The Apple Vision Pro launches on Friday, and I was the first one in the DC area to get a demo and buy the device.

As someone who has been working in the XR industry for a long time, I know this day has been years in the making and will be the catalyst for future experiences to come.

apple vision pro demo

After a quick seat at the Apple Store near me, I received my first demo of the day.

The demo wrapped up with an immersive video montage that included hot air balloons in Turkey and above a football field in the African continent, where children played football in a field and rhinos roamed the perimeter. The video included footage of a woman caressing a baby rhinoceros and ended with a video of a brown bear in a river.

At that moment, I started to cry – didn’t really think I’d get emotional since I’ve worn many devices and experienced the Apple Vision Pro before, but that moment made me think. Like hundreds of other professionals, I believe in the promise of spatial computing and have worked in the XR industry for nearly a decade.

This was a moment many of us were working for and hoping for, and it was here. As I looked at that bear in the water, probably the closest I’ll ever get to a grizzly bear, I realized once again how much this technology is changing not only human-computer interaction, but also human-computer interaction. Will be powerful. Communication with humans.

I took the device off and shed a few tears. There are so many men and women working to make this moment a reality and it felt like not only the culmination of all the work, but also the beginning of a new computing era that was just about to begin.

After completing my demo and gathering all my stuff, I walked away confident that the career path I had chosen years ago was the right one for me. The people in the store knew how excited I was and they applauded when I walked out with the first Apple Vision Pro sold by that store.

It made a lot of sense since this is my personal Apple Vision Pro.

Apple Vision Pro at-home setup

I came home and took the Apple Vision Pro out of the box. Showed it to my daughter and our grandmother. Then, we decided to fool around and take some pictures with the device. I took several of them, one of them sitting on the couch and walking with my dog. We just wanted to have fun.

After enjoying some time with the family, I started the home setup of my device. I took it out, connected the battery and we were off to the races. I’ve also set up Optic ID and Apple Pay. I decided to set up my Persona later because I knew I would only want to do this when I had good lighting and could sit quietly for a while. I want to try to get the least alien version of myself possible so that when I show up as a personality on FaceTime or Zoom, it’s the best possible personality version of me. I followed the setup menus, watched the demo, and started downloading apps.

I downloaded a gaming app called Luna, as well as Super Fruit Ninja, which is my favorite. Then I tried Lowe’s app, PGA’s app, Warner’s Max app, Zillow Immersive, Mytheresa Luxury Shopping app, and J. Downloaded Crew’s Virtual Closet app and a few others.

In the first hour after setup, I played spatial games and had a lot of fun.

I saw million dollar homes in the Zillo; I watched a spatial video of my family’s vacation and then decided to end things with some retail therapy. I saw a beautiful Balmain sequin dress that I could buy, and decided to shop in the J.Crew app. To purchase some cute black platform shoes, I chose my size, added to my cart, and purchased via Apple Pay. It was very easy and fun.

Spatial Retail: Some Thoughts on Shopping in Spatial Computing

My first impression about shopping experiences on Vision Pro is that there will be a lot of experimentation to translate the retail experience to spatial computing.

Like anything, there will be hits and misses.

Some apps will provide an early glimpse of tomorrow’s engaging shopping experiences, while others will simply replicate or port what they are doing on the web into Apple Vision Pro, thus not taking advantage of this evolving 3D-centric form of computing.

The way we shop in person is not constant, as it often can be within the confines of our mobile devices. Brands that understand this and work with people who understand this will ultimately help prove the value of spatial retail experiences and ultimately translate into real sales of physical and virtual fashion over the next few years.

We will see a lot of experimentation using high-fidelity assets in shopping experiences that can fluctuate between fully immersive environments that can be more imaginary and mixed reality environments where virtual objects are placed in the physical world. But we have to react. I’m particularly excited about Apple’s use of SharePlay in spatial shopping, and later the use of Apple Personas for a more immersive and unique shopping experience.

Brands like H&M and Moschino experimented with spatial computing and shopping experiences in Magic Leap in the late 2010s. Now, we’ll see brands setting up Apple Vision Pro pop-ups that will only exist for a limited time or be tied to a specific event or runway show.

I think we’ll see spatial computing hitting the runways during fashion month.

With spatial computing, the world becomes a catwalk or a canvas, and innovative fashion incumbents will lean towards and leverage the technologies that enable spatial computing such as AI, computer vision and XR, while agile and innovative emerging players Will also participate in this. Take advantage of technology and overtake some of the incumbents, just like what happened with mobile.

Fashion is in a state of constant evolution, and the transition from mobile computing to spatial computing will change the game once again.

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