Apple Vision Pro experience from a Senior Research Engineer at MacPaw

Senior Research Engineer at MacPaw Yevhenii Peteliev shares his experience of using Apple Vision Pro.

When the device was first announced, I was very interested in looking at it from the technical side. As a user, I wasn’t really looking forward to it, because I couldn’t understand why I needed it. I also thought that it might never be released to the general public, because we all remember Apple’s AirPower, which the company never managed to release. Everything changed when I first saw this device with my own eyes.

To be honest, I was skeptical about Apple Vision Pro. I remember spending the first half hour just looking at its design and accessories. If it seems high-quality and technologically advanced in the photo, believe me, the real impression is even stronger. I really liked the way Apple created the magic of the first time you turn it on, where you customize the device for yourself and gradually learn a new way of interacting with it.

What did I like about Apple Vision Pro?

The picture is extremely high quality. All interface elements are clear, understandable, and minimalistic. My first impressions were that I was sitting in an IMAX movie theater. I want to carefully examine every detail from all sides. And yes, you can do that, because the elements are integrated into the real world. Sometimes it is very difficult to distinguish between the real world and the application window. Personally, I was shocked when I looked at the photos of the room, which I took on Apple Vision Pro. In general, the visionOS operating system looks extremely high quality.

Customize the environment for yourself. In addition to the fact that you can control applications in visionOS, an integral part of it is customizing the environment around you. It’s important that Apple positions this device as AR (Augmented Reality), not VR (Virtual Reality), so you have a sense and understanding of what’s happening around you in real life. However, the customization of the environment is just wow. Just imagine that at first you are somewhere in Yosemite Park, and in a split second you are already on the moon. It works flawlessly. I love that it can be customized and it’s very convenient. My first feelings were that I had lost touch and was completely transported into the environment. Remember how good the image is in Vision Pro and you will understand how this magic works.

View content and interact with applications. With Apple Vision Pro, you’re not limited by the size of your phone or monitor screen. You can keep as many application windows open as you feel comfortable viewing. You can customize the size and location of the windows yourself. It is extremely convenient and interactive to view video and photo content. Personally, I really like the absence of any framework: I can customize the whole environment for myself, where various applications that are relevant and necessary for me at that moment in time will be open. The usual content viewing experience is taken to a whole new level.

Navigation and control of the device. After I turned on the device, it offered to customize it for me and interactively familiarized me with the interface management. In fact, everything is very intuitive and logical. Our gaze on an interface element highlights it, and a two-finger gesture confirms the action. You can draw an analogy with the human eye. Before interacting with an object, we first look at it, analyze it, and only then perform a certain action. You don’t even notice how you gradually discover new gestures and master the interface. And I would add that this is a very exciting process. I can compare it to learning a new skill, like riding a bicycle.

I’d like to highlight the Immersive Video viewer. This is something incredible. Immersive Video is an 8K video from 180 degrees, made using spatial audio. I couldn’t imagine that it would work so well. For a certain period of time, I just didn’t feel like I was in the room. It felt like I was there and living the story with the characters in the video. In 3 minutes, I managed to visit an Alicia Keys concert, the wildlife world, or high in the mountains, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view. At the very least, you should try Apple Vision Pro just to watch such videos. You won’t regret it. By the way, the Apple TV app already has videos from Apple added. It’s the easiest and fastest way to take your content consumption to the next level.

What would you like to improve?

Eye tracking does not always work correctly. When I first launched the device, I customized it for myself and it was super convenient and easy. However, after a while, I had more and more problems interacting with the interface elements: it was simply difficult to focus my eyes on a certain element to interact with it. For example, some actions, such as opening the Control Center, were very difficult for me, because I had to find the interface element on top and I had to look up to do it. It looked very strange from the outside. After a while, I recalibrated the device and it became better, but later the accuracy of eye tracking deteriorated.

Weight and size of the device. Vision Pro is definitely not a lightweight device. It weighs about 600-650 grams. Now imagine that it’s attached to your head and this is a normal load. Even after 15 minutes of use, you feel relieved when you take it off. For me personally, Vision Pro is quite bulky, it’s definitely not about compactness. What’s interesting is the power supply. Before I tried Vision Pro, I had the most questions about the power supply, whether it would get in the way and whether it was heavy. In practice, I had no issues with it, except that the cable for connecting to the glasses is built into it, which means that you can’t connect a power supply from other manufacturers, only Apple. However, this is nothing new. In practice, the most important thing is to put the power supply in a place that frees up your hands, because they are actively used when operating the interface.

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I’ve read various articles about how this device can help different professionals in their work. However, we all understand that reading articles is one thing, but using it in real life is quite another. Theoretically, it looks promising, but let’s see if it will come true. It’s definitely worth a try. What I can definitely highlight is a truly new level of content, where you live with the author every frame.

I’m sure that after some time of use, my list will be replenished with additional items. But the technological side of the device is really impressive.

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