Home Virtual Reality Vision Pro Fatigue: My Journey from Wow to Nah

Vision Pro Fatigue: My Journey from Wow to Nah

Not going to lie, having the opportunity to get up close and personal with the $3,500 Apple Vision Pro makes me feel all kinds of blessed. Well, it’s the top-of-the-line mixed reality (oh sorry, spatial headset) out there right now. And, as of May 4, I have officially completed a month with it.

From goosebumps to tears, the Vision Pro’s stellar eye and hand tracking-backed experience made the tech enthusiast in me feel spectacular things. Sadly, that initial oh-this-is-insanely-fun soon turned to oh-what-else-can-I-do-for-fun, and that’s what I’m here to talk about.

The first thing I noticed was the scarce-looking App Store on the Vision Pro. While there are over 1000 apps compatible with the Vision Pro, there are only around 500-600 apps tailor-made specifically for the Vision Pro, others are iPad-compatible apps ported on Vision Pro.

Of those, do some filtering and you are only left with a handful of actually good apps. If you take a look at this report, you will see how the addition of new apps decreased to only 1 in the last week of March after the headset started shipping. Why, Apple?

Wowed by Apple Vision Pro

When I first put on the Apple Vision Pro, I didn’t care about the scarce app selection, how bulky it was, or even that dangling annoyance of an external battery pack. I just didn’t want to take it off, for its Environments had me in a trance. You lose all sense of reality and everything around you. Watching sci-fi movies on the Moon, meditating in Mount Hood, or just staring at the Haleakalā night sky in awe kept me engaged, big time, initially.

The Discomfort Is Unignorably Real

Watching YouTube videos, movies, and everything on Vision Pro that I normally do on my phone or laptop felt like this fresh new experience. I was a kid all over again who had received his very first smartphone. That feeling’s irreplaceable, right? However, once you hit the one-hour mark of wearing the headset, you start feeling the weight of the world on your forehead.

Helping a friend wear the Vision Pro

As soon as I took it off, I realized how terrible a headache had developed. I couldn’t even finish the movie that I started watching on it. This is a big problem with the Vision Pro and caused a lot of users to return the device as well.

Once you hit the 1-hour mark of wearing the headset, you start feeling the weight of the world on your forehead.

Since I didn’t have to worry about returning the headset, I wanted to squeeze the utility out of it. That quest led me straight to giving games like Puzzling Places a try, and I was blown away. The level of detail and integration with hand/eye gestures made those the best three puzzles I’ve solved in my life to date. But, there are only so many reruns you can do.

I Tried to Make the Most of It But…

Sadly, being in India and behind the geo lock of Apple Arcade, I couldn’t see the Vision Pro’s true gaming potential. Neither could I try some of the interesting paid apps that the App Store wasn’t letting me pay for in Indian currency, which is sad. The geographical disadvantage is unwarranted, in all honesty. That’s something that Akshay (our Content Strategist), had a problem with and talked about in his feature on AVP as well.

So, understandably, my anxiety was getting worse at this point and I had to find things to do. While I did use my Vision Pro Persona to Facetime a couple of my friends and freaked them out, it wasn’t enough.

Apple Vision Pro's freaky Persona feature

It was then that I came across the Encounter Dinosaurs interactive app experience within the Apple TV app. I think the dino-nerd in me cried a bit. I ended up boasting to my friends and that annoying kid in the block about how I was able to pet a Carnotaurus.

After who knows how many sessions of that, I started exploring Apple TV further, and then, immersive videos hit me like the next big “woah!” thing. From holding my breath with Faith Dickey as she highlines 3,000 feet above Norway, jamming with Alicia Keys in a studio, petting a Rhino, and even seeing a couple of raptors trying to corner a Nasutoceratops, it brought just about two hours of freshness to my Vision Pro usage.

The limited free immersive Apple TV videos weren’t enough though (obviously) and had me asking for more. That craving led me straight to the official GUCCI app, which got me emotional about someone I didn’t even know of before (you’re incredible, Sabato). But, after a rewatch, I was done with it.

From holding my breath with Faith Dickey as she highlines 3,000 feet above Norway, jamming with Alicia Keys in a studio, petting a Rhino, and even seeing a couple of raptors trying to corner a Nasutoceratops, it brought just about two hours of freshness to my Vision Pro usage.

My next stop was the AmazeVR app, which lets you view immersive VR concerts from artists like Zara Larsson, Meghan Thee Stallion, and Avenged Sevenfold, and I think I had a VR-gasm at that. But, after I had exhausted the free stuff, I found myself getting bored again. To up my spirits, I hopped onto TRIPP to do some guided meditation which was fun for about 30 minutes, post which, I was back to square one.

Explore POV was another app that I tried and the gorgeous immersive videos of New Zealand gave broke-me the audacity to look for travel packages. To get over my broken bank account, I even did some Tai Chi with Po from Kung Fu Panda to feel better.

It doesn’t end there. Your boy also borrowed stole the MacBook Air M3 that Akshay was using and turned it into a monitor for a good couple of hours. But, as I said before, it gets exhausting to keep it on for a long period of time. In other words, I covered as many bases as I could.

After doing all that and a lot more throughout what turned out to be a month now, I don’t know where to go from here. I’m agitated, and annoyed and have even stopped revisiting the app store in search of newly added apps since that doesn’t happen often.

The Vision Pro Won but at What Cost?

There’s no doubt that the Vision Pro’s passthrough technology and display quality are unmatched. When I put on the Meta Quest 2 we had at the office after using the Vision Pro, it felt like transitioning from a flagship to a budget phone.

However, Quest 2 made me realize how infinite the possibilities of a VR system are, let alone one that’s mixed reality in nature. For example, on the Quest 2, the theatre mode is not limited to specific apps like on the Vision Pro.

I could do that with even YouTube videos, which is very cool. On top of that, the Quest’s app store is just downright amazing, not keeping anything unnecessarily limited from me. I had access to anything and everything I wanted to do.

Quest 2 made me realize how infinite the possibilities of a VR system are, let alone one that’s mixed reality in nature.

There was also a good selection of free games to make hours seem like minutes. The app library is pretty commendable, to say the least. Most importantly, it’s just a lot easier to operate. Want a friend or family member to try something on it? Simply take it off and make them wear it.

Meanwhile, on the Vision Pro, you will need to enable Guest Mode to make them set up the eye and hand tracking for them again. I tried explaining the setup process to my dad and could hear him giving out deep sighs throughout.

Yes, Meta has been building the Quest for years now and is a master in the art now. Apple is new to it and will understandably take some time to get there. But, given the latest reports of the headset sales having taken a hit, things are not looking good for Apple.

Not to mention that even Apple doesn’t seem all that interested in doing something about it. Right now, only the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max come with Spatial Video and Photo support for the Vision Pro. The latest M4 iPads don’t come with dual camera setups to allow spatial recording in the first place.

While I don’t want it to be a big tech fail, there are chances that it might. It’s revolutionary, no doubt, and I may occasionally put it on to detach myself from reality. But, that’s about it.

Bored of Apple Vision Pro

However, that’s not the case with just the Vision Pro. I believe that this is a very niche market and for most people, VR, AR, and Mixed Reality headsets are a very one-and-done thing. While it’s exciting at first, it all dies down pretty quickly and you’ll soon find yourself taking it out only to charge it and then, put it back again.

For $3,500, you can build a specced-out gaming rig, take a one-week trip to Paris, enjoy 30 sessions of tandem skydiving, get four MacBook Air M3s, three of the latest iPad Pro M4 or even five Meta Quest 3s.

That’s probably why even the Vision Pro’s outstanding display and processing power don’t make it a good standalone device to use every day. On top of that, there’s the exorbitant $3,500 price tag. For that much, you can build a specced-out gaming rig, take a two-week trip to Paris, enjoy 30 sessions of tandem skydiving, get four MacBook Air M3s, three of the latest iPad Pro M4 or even five Meta Quest 3s.

People are well aware of that and the Vision Pro has become top-tier meme material on the internet. Although I like the headset for all that it is, I can’t help but agree with all the lashing it’s been getting.

There’s just not enough Environments and stellar experiences like Encounter Dinosaurs to keep you going. You need a LOT of those to let the Vision Pro continue to be a remarkable experience. Apple’s last change is the upcoming WWDC 2024 event, where they can announce visionOS 2.0 and make the Vision Pro worth it. In a less-for-more market, Apple’s way-more-for-less headset bored me quicker than I had expected.

 

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