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Tag Archive for ‘Virtual Reality’

Apple Vision Pro Returns ➝

Mark Gurman:

In speaking to more than a dozen people who have returned the Vision Pro over the past week, I’ve heard some similar reasons:

  • The device is simply too heavy, too cumbersome to manage, headache-inducing and uncomfortable.
  • The current lack of applications and video content doesn’t justify the price.
  • The work features don’t make people more productive than just using a normal external monitor with a Mac — and they’re difficult to use for long periods.
  • The displays have too much glare, the field of view is too narrow, and the device causes eyestrain and vision problems.
  • The product can make users feel isolated from family and friends. Meaningful shared experiences don’t yet exist, and the Vision Pro can’t easily be passed around to others because of the need for a precise fit.

I’m unconvinced that many of these concerns will be addressed in future iterations of the Vision Pro. Perhaps I’ll look back at this and feel foolish, but I don’t think VR/AR is the next big thing. And I’m not sure it ever will be.

(Via John Spurlock.)

➝ Source: bloomberg.com

‘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

Half-Life: Alyx Announcement Trailer ➝

I was a huge fan of Half-Life back in my PC days in the early 2000s. I sunk countless hours into Half-Life 2 and like many others have hoped that Valve would eventually release a new game in the series. I’m a little bummed that Alyx is being released as a VR game, though, I just can’t imagine myself investing the amount of money necessary to get a VR setup built out. I just hope they release an alternative version of the game that doesn’t require a VR headset and can be played on a console or operating system that I’m actually willing to use.

➝ Source: m.youtube.com

External GPU Support and Virtual Reality on the Mac ➝

Serenity Caldwell, writing for iMore:

Support for an external GPU (or eGPU) effectively provides VR-capable graphics for all of Apple’s Thunderbolt 3-capable Mac line, including the MacBook Pros. They’re not very portable, but they’re powerhouses — designed to crush and process the millions of pixels a VR setup requires.

This means that, yes, soon you’ll be able to — with the appropriate additional hardware — run a VR experience like Star Trek’s Bridge Crew on your Mac. (I can hear our VR editor Russell Holly squealing from here.) But more importantly, developers of VR experiences can build those games on a Mac.

McDonald’s is Now Making Happy Meal Boxes That Turn Into VR Headsets ➝

This is a great way to get virtual reality headsets into the hands of children. After seeing this, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a partnership between Google and some fast food company to distribute Cardboard headsets.