Apple Vision Pro: "I see the future unfolding before my eyes and I can't help but be excited"
Before we start: Yes, I flew to New York, 'just' to be one of the first to get my hands on Apple's Vision Pro. And no, I don't think that's excessive. If you've been secretly waiting your entire career for that one product to hit the market - the product that could elevate your entire business model and offer to a new level - then you don't wait for your package at the post office in Beveren, Belgium. No, you jump on the first flight to NY to pick it up yourself.
The American Way
On Saturday, I had reserved a spot to pick up my copy at the Apple Store at Grand Central. On Friday, my enthusiasm got the best of me, and I decided to sneak a peek at the Main Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. My last bit of shame as an Apple fanboy melted away like snow in the sun when I saw the crowd of fans gathering there in the pouring rain. A line of Apple staff was dancing, chanting 'Apple Vision Pro! Apple Vision Pro! Apple Vision Pro!', and surprisingly many people were singing along. All very American.
After the ritual countdown, everyone streamed into the store, and I managed to squeeze in too. One hour later, I had scored not only a Vision Pro but a selfie with Tim Cook as well. Yes, that Tim Cook. And no, selfies are usually not my thing. The man was just hanging out there, friendly and approachable. I asked him whether the launch of the Vision Pro was an evolution or a revolution for him, to which he (quite cryptically) replied: 'A revolutionary evolution.' What I understand by that: it’s phenomenal and impressive, but it's also part of a logical sequence of events. It's a revolutionary moment in a steady evolution towards Spatial Computing.
Desktop first, mobile first, spatial first
After the rise of personal computers came mobile technology, each with profound implications. The next leap forward is spatial computing, and will now gain massive traction thanks to Apple’s AVP. We find ourselves in a whole new world full of 3D experiences where one boundary after another blurs - human and machine, physical and virtual reality, work and leisure.
The personal computer has completely changed our way of working and communicating, and the advent of smartphones has made us mobile, both literally and figuratively, with apps like Uber and Airbnb. Each technological medium has its specific strengths and possibilities, things that only become possible with their emergence. But in the beginning, it's always a bit of searching for the exact possibilities. And that's no different here with the Vision Pro.
Pro, pro, pro, and con
It's far too early to give an in-depth review of the Vision Pro, but I'm happy to share my first impression of this first-generation product. Navigation? Amazing. Navigating with your eyes, hand gestures, and swiping in the air, it all seems a bit strange but it works incredibly well, and I predict that this will quickly become commonplace. Mark my words.
Apps? Too few, but we knew that beforehand. What is promising, however, is the partnership with (or possible acquisition of?) Disney. With this, Apple clearly focuses on immersive entertainment.
There are already VR glasses on the market, but they are all - to put it in Formula 1 terms - just as good as a Haas with Hulkenberg behind the wheel. The Vision Pro? That's Max Verstappen in his Red Bull. A month ago, I made my very first spatial video at my godchild’s first birthday party. Last week, I put on the Vision Pro, scrolled effortlessly through my videos, and was able to relive that intimate moment so intensely that it moved me emotionally. Definitely heading in the right direction there.
The silver bullet
What's really good is the integration of the Vision Pro into the Apple ecosystem. You can seamlessly swipe, copy, synchronize, and navigate from your Mac to your iPhone, to your Vision Pro, and back again. That's also the downside, of course, because that ecosystem is quite gated off. The glasses are a bit heavy and require a serious investment, but they are primarily intended for early adopters and companies that want to get started with spatial computing.
Apple has made its move, and now it's up to us - the innovators, content creators, and brave companies that like to help shape the future - to find the 'silver bullet,' the possibilities that unfold thanks to the arrival of the Vision Pro, the next Uber. I see the future unfolding before my eyes, and I can't help but be excited. Hopefully, it's contagious.
In case you’re curious what all this means to you and your brand’s future, don’t hesitate to hop on a call with me!