‘The Productivity Use Cases Simply Didn’t Materialize for Me’ ➝

Ben Thompson:

The net result is that the Vision Pro, at least in its current incarnation, does not come close to being the productivity tool I was so excited about last summer, when I wrote that I suspected the Vision Pro was “the future of the Mac”, and that’s even before getting to the limitations of Apple’s iOS-based operating system in terms of app capabilities and business models. That latter point, along with the limitations of eye-tracking as a default user-interface model, also makes me worry that new and better hardware won’t change this reality. […]

Now, having used a Vision Pro of my own, I have to say that were I making a decision independent of my job, I would not buy a Vision Pro. I personally don’t watch that much TV or movies, and while I am a huge sports fan, there is not yet the sort of immersive content available that would make it worth it to me (but I’m hopeful!). Meanwhile, the productivity use cases simply didn’t materialize for me, although I am hopeful for the ability to project two monitors in a software update.

I don’t find the Vision Pro to be compelling at all. I think of it like 3D movies or motion controls in games — something that will be popular for a period time, but will ultimately only be useful for specific applications and thought of more as a novelty than as the default.

And I think too many people are getting lost in the weeds talking about this specific hardware and software rather than about the category as a whole. As I mentioned on Mastodon last week:

If we take this product to its logical conclusion, though, and remove all of its existing limitations, I still don’t see how it would add to my life. There are just inherent limitations that can’t be so obviously “fixed” — having more than one person see what’s on the display at a time, for example.

Admittedly, I have a reasonably sized home office and haven’t traveled for work in a few years, but beyond it’s capabilities as a large display in a relatively small package, I don’t think VR/AR is all that useful for general computing. I’m also skeptical as to whether larger screens actually make people more productive — I only use my MacBook’s 13-inch screen during my work day, even though I have a 27-inch display available to me.

The only other seemingly compelling feature of the Vision Pro is the immersive experiences, giving you the ability to disconnect from the world around you to help you focus on your work. But much of those benefits could be had with a decent pair of noise canceling headphones and you don’t have to worry as much about eye strain or at all about motion sickness.

➝ Source: stratechery.com