The Apple Vision Pro isn't expected to arrive until next year, but the company is already scratching its head over how to improve the next iteration of its AR/VR headset – with its primary focus on improving the device's weight and comfort.
Apple's first-gen venture into the virtual realm is reportedly suffering from one potentially deal-breaking issue for users, with even those in Apple Park grumbling about its impact. I hate to be the one who says “I told you so,” but I did indeed tell you so. There’s no way anyone is using the Apple Vision Pro for a full day’s work.
The weight of the (virtual) world on your shoulders
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who is seemingly the fount of all Apple-based knowledge existing outside the confines of the Apple Park compound, comfort is the first order of business when it comes to improving on the existing Vision Pro model.
The Vision Pro’s comfort has been called into question after causing neck strain in testing “due to its size and weight” – with some users complaining that the headset feels too heavy to use – “even in short stretches.”
The Vision Pro is expected to weigh around one pound (16 ounces) when it launches in 2024, and while that’s a fair amount of mass to tack onto one’s physiognomy the Vision Pro’s discomfort could be a result of its lack of support.
Meta’s new Quest 3 headset actually weighs more than the Vision Pro due to an internal battery, but it manages to disperse its weight with a center strap across the top of the head. In a rare case of ergonomic oversight by Apple, the Vision Pro seems to lack such an option – resulting in a lack of balance and a larger strain placed on the neck of the user.
It’s a strange oversight by Apple, a company that historically hyper-fixates over the ergonomics of its products. However, returning to form, there’s been a long standing possibility that Apple might manufacture such a strap, only to sell it separately as an additional accessory – as if the Vision Pro’s $3,500 asking price wasn’t enough already.
Should this turn out to be true, the final tally for adopting Apple’s first-gen VR/AR headset without adding cervical compression to your body’s blooming ailments will be less “worth its weight in gold” and more “costs its weight in gold.” But go on, buy it anyway, I dare you.
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Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.