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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2023-06-06, 02:19

In regard to Paul's question, avoiding the prurient angle (astonishingly adult of ME), it is absolutely a "you have to experience it firsthand to appreciate it" type of product.

A coworker brought their Oculus to the office several months ago, giving me the opportunity to try them out.

The putt putt game was really fun, and it was immersive. The graphics were cartoony, but engaging. The audio really helped put you into the artificial place.

It was no holodeck, but it definitely elevated the experience.

I also watched a video about Chernobyl, which had been shot with a 3D camera. While the narrator spoke, the scenes cut from location to location.

They gave you enough time in each location to turn in place to look around you. Again, the immersion wasn't perfect, but it was convincing enough to be interesting.

All of this was on a device that I believe cost less than $500.

To operate the device required that you hold two sticks studded with buttons, with little leashes on them to prevent you from flinging them across the room during the heights of ecstasy during a video game.

Or whatever.

Apple's big shocker (for me, in addition to the virtual face) was the hand scanning cameras.

There's a lot of drill down on how those work, including how to keep them from being scanned while you're trying to spoon ice cream into your gob during an episode of your favorite show.

I will not be rushing out to buy one when they hit shelves either, however the thorough integration into the Mac environment does make me reserve the right to remain intrigued.

I mean.

If a machine (like the Oculus) that costs a fraction of the VisionPro can provide a fun environment for gaming, exercise, and cinema, on a rinky dink catalog from Meta (Facebook), then what sort of integration might be available from a company like Apple, with its large software developer base and award winning library of television shows.

And like any new technology, you can predict all sorts of future headlines like your "driving with googles on"; from couples getting married while wearing them to a murderous VR-wearing bandit.

I mean, those should already be happening with the Oculus, but the Apple brand will (as predicted) bring more media attention to this arena.

Tune in later this morning to see Tim Apple on Good Morning America, showing off this new wonder.

The early buy-in by Disney is a good sign for Apple. The inclusion of Microsoft is good, too. That affiliation is still important.

I assume that a version of Photoshop that puts you into your project can't be far behind.

All that's left are Paul's immersive adult experiences


...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2023-06-06, 08:00

They’ll be coming, don’t worry. All this stuff always boils down to porn when it’s all said and done. With lookalike models and deep fake face replacement stuff, it’ll be a thing. They’ll skirt around the legalities the same way porn parodies manage to do. Gonna be a weird time to be a popular, hot actress in the coming years. Eek! For the record, I don’t think it’s cool or interesting, but actually creepy. And when the first batch of celebrities (Scarlett, Rosario, etc.) start filing their virtual sexual assault claims (because that’ll likely be a thing too), then it’ll all get very ugly and we’ll think back on this post and my previous one and share an uncomfortable, “dude totally called it” chuckle. Ugh.

I don’t think I want any part of this bullshit. I, too, reserve the right to be casually curious from afar, but such a device just offers nothing for me. I don’t game, I don’t need to do my taxes on Dagobah, etc. I just can’t picture a scenario/situation where I, Paul, truly benefit and get something from it. Contrast this to the iPhone unveiling, where I never wanted something more n my life because it actually addressed/improved everything I hated about my little buttoned flip “dumb” phone at the time. I’m currently not dissatisfied with an existing set of these goggles, hoping for Apple to “rescue” me from some ugly, buggy drudgery. As someone who’s never made an annoying ass of himself chasing imaginary creatures through bushes or outdoor cafes, immersing myself in another environment/surrounding just isn’t something I dream about or crave.

I just don’t have that natural, genuine interest in the things such a device is built around. Games, escapism, constantly wishing I was somewhere I wasn’t, etc.

I think this stuff is for a certain mindset/personality type that I’m just not. Too grounded, practical, easily distracted/amused by things not costing $3,000+ (My guitar, sketch pad, crossword books, etc.) I never get “bored” or tired of where I am, so the big marquee feature in such a product is just lost/wasted on someone like me. It’s why things like “Lawnmower Man” and “The Matrix” fly right over my head. I’m just not wired for this stuff, certainly not at that pricing!

But it will be fun/funny to see how it all plays out in the years to come. People driving around, shooting down TIE fighters from their Hyundai along I-75. Great…

Will be interesting to see what this causes more: Fender benders or divorces. “This makes the fourth day I’ve come home to find you naked and V-banging Miley Cyrus in our kitchen!”

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2023-06-06 at 11:55.
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PB PM
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2023-06-06, 08:59

Unless the set replaces everything, iPhone, watch, iPad, maybe even the notebook/desktop computer, I just don’t see the point. Maybe that is the end goal? I could see it being useful that way, but otherwise it’s just another wearable screen.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-06, 11:33

That may be what I’m missing…the “why?” of it. It seems a bit extra/unnecessary with all else around, but maybe, someday, Macs and iPhones will go the way of the Newton and iPod and this stuff is how we use computers.

I don’t know. That’s a long, long transition period! Me, being me, there’s a better-than-solid chance I’m all wet in my assumptions/predictions iothread, and 10-15 years from now, walking about with this thing on one’s head is just the “new norm” and how we use computers and communicate. When they can get the design to more resemble a stylish pair of Warby Parkers vs. Bond villain headgear, that’ll certainly help.

The ultimate goal should have it being no heavier or obtrusive than a pair of regular eyeglasses. Advances in various fields will get us there over time, as always. Rev. A almost has to be bulky/ugly.

I can’t afford a $3,500 set of goggles, though. That aspect of it would have to (dramatically) change over all else. When they’re $1,299 and fully replace any Mac and iPhone, that’ll be the “well of course”, point, kinda like how 2010 was with iPhone, when I started noticing them in the hands of everyone, not just people like me who hung out at sites like this. Mainstream, “regular people” adoption determines the success or failure of this kind of thing.

I just assume, in my lifetime, that Macs and iPhones, as I’ve always known them, will cease to exist. Is this - or a more attractive, affordable descendant - the replacement?

Maybe.

What would Steve think? I can’t help but wonder at times like this. Was such a thing ever on his radar, or would He had to be convinced, or dragged, kicking and screaming, that this was the thing to pursue/champion?

All I know is he would’ve figured out a way to make me come up with $3,500 in a way this current bunch hasn’t. And never does. That’s what I miss most about days like yesterday. Where’s the showmanship and atomic-level salesmanship, convincingbyou it’s something you MUST have!!! Tim Cook inspires me about as much as a stale pineapple. Even when he tries to convey excitement and wonder, he comes across as such a reading-from-a-script, insincere, huckster goof. Quit putting him in these videos; he’s always the worst part of them.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2023-06-06 at 11:56.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2023-06-06, 11:53

I can absolutely see the viability of these things for three use-cases:

1) Collaborative engineering projects and the like where a group of people can mock up fancy new ideas, even within the same room. I can see folks like Bruce standing in a lab mocking up molecules with which to control all of his minions, and I can see archaeologists standing around an old dinosaur bone trying to figure out what it was munching on, and other fun stuff like that. I think VR goggles haven't been terribly popular because they make people feel so isolated and "stuck in there, oblivious to the world", and Apple seems to have thought very carefully about that problem.

2) Work-from-home types that need constant, interactive, and collaborative communication with their coworkers.

3) Paul, once he figures out that his favorite actress-of-the-month looks a helluva lot better on the fully interactive 3d-cinema hyper-sound va-va-voom and I need to watch that again VR movie super-screen!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-06, 11:58

What will the paleontologists say to the archaeologists????


...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-06, 12:01

Ha. Naw, man...I'm not into that stuff. I could never feel comfortable/normal going down that road. But I know lots of people would. It's them I'm using as examples or usage cases, not me. Haha.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
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2023-06-06, 12:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
What will the paleontologists say to the archaeologists????


...
"I've got a bone to pick with you!"
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
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2023-06-06, 12:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
What will the paleontologists say to the archaeologists????


...
Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
"I've got a bone to pick with you!"


It's collaborative work, man.

Leve me alone!
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Kickaha
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2023-06-06, 13:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
I can absolutely see the viability of these things for three use-cases:

1) Collaborative engineering projects and the like where a group of people can mock up fancy new ideas, even within the same room. I can see folks like Bruce standing in a lab mocking up molecules with which to control all of his minions, and I can see archaeologists standing around an old dinosaur bone trying to figure out what it was munching on, and other fun stuff like that.
Yep, collaborative is obviously a prime driver here, unlike most headsets.

Quote:
I think VR goggles haven't been terribly popular because they make people feel so isolated and "stuck in there, oblivious to the world", and Apple seems to have thought very carefully about that problem.
*bing bing bing*

People who buy headsets don't care about the isolation (or see it as a feature ), but people who do care, don't buy them.

Quote:
2) Work-from-home types that need constant, interactive, and collaborative communication with their coworkers.
Work-from-anywhere, you mean. The demo of the hotel room was brilliant... when I'm traveling, I don't have my desktop screens, or my whiteboard, or the other things that make working easier. This substitutes for that, in addition to the 'instant conference room' they showed.

Until they got to the price, my wife was adamant I needed to buy one for my firm, for these reasons. XD

Quote:
3) Paul, once he figures out that his favorite actress-of-the-month looks a helluva lot better on the fully interactive 3d-cinema hyper-sound va-va-voom and I need to watch that again VR movie super-screen!
Bride of iWank!

To the above list, I'd add:

4) Industrial applications such as factory floor line foreman, chief engineer on a construction site, aerospace mechanics, etc, etc. Anywhere where you need a combination of spatially oriented data in real time, and in-person collaboration. I've worked in this area recently, and the systems that have been deployed are of vastly lesser quality and specs than what Apple announced, while being much *MORE* expensive. Vision Pro is an overpriced Beat Sabre unit, but a ridiculously cheap industrial XR headset.
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PB PM
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2023-06-06, 14:38

Didn’t Apple add a porn filter in iOS 17? That would thwart the main purpose of this, no? But really, why bother with googles, just do what the Japanese do and marry a doll or robot.

On the work side, yeah it could be big for design and stuff as we talked about a few pages ago. AI will kill off half those jobs in 5-10 years though. I’m just thinking from the normal person point of view.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-06, 14:44

Do they even exist anymore?
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PB PM
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2023-06-06, 14:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
Do they even exist anymore?
I mean people making less than $100k a year.
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Kickaha
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2023-06-06, 15:29

Eh, I figure this is the technology 'demo' that leads to the iterative improvement in the next five years, and results in a much lower cost version.

This put the stake in the ground for quality and design, and changes the conversation about what is possible, or at least brings it out of the lab and into the public space.

It's obvious this wasn't a "hey, we're gonna make a gaming headset, hur hur" effort, this was pointing at the fence and calling the home run.

Now they need to take the swing.
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chucker
 
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2023-06-06, 16:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
So is this about what everyone was expecting? Better? Worse? About the same as the others? How is everyone with the price?
No, I think this is about what I expected.

My last guess for the price was $2,800, so it's a bit above that.

Is it a good product everyone who can afford it should buy? No, it's a bleeding-edge tech demo. It has some really clever ideas (such as showing your eyes when you're in AR mode vs. not showing them when you're in VR mode, so others can tell by looking at your face whether you can see them or not), some classic Apple integration (glance at a nearby Mac then tap with your finger, and bam, instant VNC session — you now have a big virtual 4K display of that Mac in your eyes), some extremely high-end tech (the sensor array alone must cost them hundreds of dollars, twin 4K displays is very pricey, and that's not even getting to things like the additional displays on the front of it, or the 3D camera, or, or, or), and some ideas that could turn out to be misses. I see something like "use an iPhone to scan your face so people see a CGI avatar of you in FaceTime" and "hey, you know what you should do when your kids are having a great moment? Film them in 3D and also while you're doing that, wear a chunky headset and don't interact with them" as potential misfires in the same vein as the original Apple Watch's digital heartbeat. Well-intended, dorkily-delivered (if not a little creepy, even), immediately forgotten in the second release, and also not doing harm to the broader platform.

I'll also say they positioned it very differently than, say, a Meta Quest (née Oculus). You can play games on it, but this is not a game console on your head. This is a laptop on your head. This is literally the MacBook Air's chip, except you don't have a 13- or now 15-inch display. You have a massive virtual display; think 100 inches. It fills your eyes. That's where they're going with this.

So, in terms of value, it packs a bunch. Very high-end specs, very Apple-like ideas. A leapfrog product.

But very much a 1.0, too. And Apple is under no illusion that a $3500 headset is mass-market. But! They think it shows the path forward, and I think what will happen after is:
  • Apple watches the competition. And their own sales.
  • Meta regains some confidence that the Meta Quest Pro could be a viable thing. They up their game. And its price. It started at $1500, and it's now $1000. Why not make the Meta Quest Pro 2 $1800? Apple has opened the window for that.
  • Microsoft might reconsider essentially killing the HoloLens. In fact… what is the price tag of the HoloLens 2? That's right… $3500. Only the HoloLens 2 now looks years behind Apple. Again… competition!
  • OK, but what about Apple itself? This is the Vision Pro. There will be a Vision non-Pro. In fact, I think within five years, we'll see a line-up like the MacBooks. The Apple Vision Air starts at $1299, and the Apple Vision Pro at $1999, but can be configured for the high-end up to $2999.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
I suppose something like this is hard to demo/convey in a way that really drives it home. But I’ve watched this section of the keynote twice and I’m just not getting it.
I worry that Apple has gotten far worse at actually conveying what they want to say in recent keynotes. Too stuffed with "it does this too!" nuggets.

Consider MKHBD's take.
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chucker
 
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2023-06-06, 16:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
Not to be tacky, but “celebrity sex”. If you can experience a somewhat realistic “putting it to Jenna Ortega and/or Margot Robbie on your couch” kinda afternoon, that’ll be when people magically start to suddenly find $3,500 free and clear in large numbers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hNMwxY4-Vk&t=50s
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2023-06-06, 16:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Bride of iWank!


Oh, my goodness, that sounds like the title of Video Game of the Year!



My friend, Erik Smith (and one of the owners of our shop), has been developing super computers for years, and the mixed/virtual reality stuff they're working on is insane! Here is the product they sell: https://silverdraft.com/products/varjo/

I have no idea how much they are (a quick Google seems to indicate entry is around $2000) but that is what Apple is shooting for. Not Oculus and silly video games or social media retardation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
This is a laptop on your head. This is literally the MacBook Air's chip, except you don't have a 13- or now 15-inch display. You have a massive virtual display; think 100 inches. It fills your eyes. That's where they're going with this.
Exactly!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2023-06-06 at 16:24.
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Kickaha
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2023-06-06, 16:47

Well... https://www.roadtovr.com/varjo-xr-3-...se-date-price/

Varjo XR-3 is still a bit below the Vision Pro specs, and is $5.5k + required $1.5k annual support contract = $7k. (Granted, that's two years old. Their Aero headset is $2k for somewhat lesser capability.)

And, as far as I can tell... that's just the display. You still need a computer to drive it, right?

So... yeah. Like I said... from a certain viewpoint, Vision Pro looks like a pretty damned good deal.

Last edited by Kickaha : 2023-06-06 at 17:36.
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kscherer
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2023-06-06, 16:56

Yes, exactly.

My friend builds some extremely high-performance computers. They're so powerful that they were used to animate "live" audiences for televised professional sports games during COVID where every "fan" in the stand was a separate animation, and each camera was tied to one of those systems and interlinked so that each animation's status was shared to each of something like 15 cameras.

Very powerful stuff!

It seams to me that what Apple wants to do is take all that hardware and shove it onto the front of your face, albeit on a much smaller scale, both physically and computationally.

It's kind of like the Pro Display XDR, where Apple was shooting at a market where the norm was $40,000 and hitting it with a $6000 thing, even though there were lots of cheap alternatives.

Now, Apple is targeting a market where the norm is $5+ (not including the computational power), and where there are lots of cheap alternatives.

It's a game of disruption.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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Kickaha
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2023-06-06, 16:59

Yep, yep.

This isn't 'take a Quest and upscale it' this is 'take a professional headset that costs way more, shrink it, add more features, and oh btw make it standalone'.

Folks who are only familiar with the consumer gaming market are scoffing, but the folks who depend on this kind of kit are amazed.
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kscherer
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2023-06-06, 17:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Folks who are only familiar with the consumer gaming market are scoffing, but the folks who depend on this kind of kit are amazed.
This is the best take I've read, yet, and 100% accurate.

The basement dwellers that Paul keeps referring to are laughing while drinking Mountain Dew and O-D-ing on WoW, whilst the scientific/engineering community and remote workers are fist-bumping, high-fiving, and rushing down to the bank for small business loans.

This will be game-changing at the mid- to high-end of the market where the real money is made (both by makers of the device and by those who use it). It's very clear from Apple's demo video that gaming was considered, but only because it "had to be considered", not because it's a necessity for the success of the device. It's just a side show that it can do, but not its killer app.

And for this, I think there might be thousands of killer apps that haven't even been schemed yet, because the computational power hasn't existed at (or even near) $3500.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-06, 17:35

I’ve not tagged on basement dwellers. In fact, I’d rather they stay there than be out driving around and viewing me/my car as an imperial shuttle to be destroyed.

PS - I’ve only ragged on creeper pervs who’s drop thousands to virtually get it on with Neve Campbell. That’s just weird/creepy to me.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-10, 07:30

Just so I'm clear (because so much of this is beyond me). That little bit of your "eyes"/face showing through the goggles when you're wanting to show your friends you're paying attention to them...that's not "real"? That's not your true face showing through, but a digital/scanned version? Am I getting that part correct?
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drewprops
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2023-06-10, 07:45

That's correct. It's a screen with a simulation of your face.


...
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chucker
 
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2023-06-10, 08:42

Yep. They put cameras facing your eyes and a screen facing outside in the thing for the single purpose of signaling to the viewer whether you can see them or not.

It’s intuitive and ridiculous in the Apple way.
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drewprops
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2023-06-10, 09:16

When I first started watching the unveiling and I saw her eyes I was like "How?!?!" and was wondering if they were projecting the imagery in front of her eyes onto clear Perspex. The reality is wild.


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psmith2.0
Mr. Anderson
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2023-06-11, 08:53

Weird. That creepy, Billie Eilish/Aubrey Plaza dead-eyed appearance is worse than just seeing nothing there at all! Between the pricing and the actual real-world usability/need (and creep factor), I can't see these things becoming anywhere near the iPhone in popularity, numbers, etc. Not in my lifetime, anyway. Gonna take a lot of things happening.

Then again, there are people who spend $1,000+ every 12 months for the brand new iPhone (when there's not that much different in it from last-year's model), including some members of my own family, so I don't put anything past anyone at this point. $3,500 will be the new $1,299 to some.

Apple will send iJustine seven, one for each day of the week.

I've watched that keynote presentation/explanation thing six times now, and I just don't/can't "get it". I'm trying. I'm trying to remember back, prior to iPod and iPhone, just how different music-listening and phone using were, and appreciating "oh, okay..those things made it better". I'm not able to find that "hook" with this thing. I don't have the personality for it.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2023-06-11 at 09:04.
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Frank777
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2023-06-11, 12:02

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chucker
 
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2023-06-11, 13:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
Weird. That creepy, Billie Eilish/Aubrey Plaza dead-eyed appearance is worse than just seeing nothing there at all! Between the pricing and the actual real-world usability/need (and creep factor), I can't see these things becoming anywhere near the iPhone in popularity, numbers, etc. Not in my lifetime, anyway. Gonna take a lot of things happening.
Best to think of this as where the Lisa and Newton were, not the first Mac and iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
I've watched that keynote presentation/explanation thing six times now, and I just don't/can't "get it".
Spend ten minutes putting on an HTC Vive or Quest 2 and running Google Earth. Not even a game or anything, just Google Earth. Look at Street View on a massive screen. Zoom all the way out to suddenly have the entire planet underneath your feet. Then zoom back in to your childhood home. It is fairly mind-blowing. What Apple adds on top is a very high-end implementation — basically the "Retina" moment of headsets — and a huge library of iOS apps.
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Kickaha
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2023-06-11, 20:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Best to think of this as where the Lisa and Newton were, not the first Mac and iPhone.
I think you're in the right ballpark, but I think this is closer to the iPhone simply due to their market weight these days, and the fact that it appears to be a stunningly well thought out ecosystem, as opposed to a stand-alone device.

Quote:
Spend ten minutes putting on an HTC Vive or Quest 2 and running Google Earth. Not even a game or anything, just Google Earth. Look at Street View on a massive screen. Zoom all the way out to suddenly have the entire planet underneath your feet. Then zoom back in to your childhood home. It is fairly mind-blowing. What Apple adds on top is a very high-end implementation — basically the "Retina" moment of headsets — and a huge library of iOS apps.
Even better... and I think the more compelling experience... do all that while *NOT* in a room by yourself, with one or more other people looking to possibly interact with you.

Every VR headset I've ever used, from research lab 25 years ago to the most recent industrial kits, are absolutely isolating *by design*. VR requires that you block out the world as much as possible, and that means both directions. You are in your own world, which by design means you are effectively cut off from the world beyond the visor.

AR headsets let the outside world in, but have never, before now, allowed you to be a part of it in a *human* way. Pick something up? Sure. Have a conversation with someone that isn't totally awkward? Eh...

No headset before this that I'm aware of has had an explicit design goal of two-way collaboration, or even communication with someone right in front of you. It's a massive barrier to not only many use cases, but personal/societal acceptance of the technology.

The avatar rendering at the moment is a bit rough, but that's the least of the concerns of what will inevitably improve over time, and quickly. The fact that they put it in place at all is a stake in the ground to the competition.

The near-Retina level display all but removes the specs race element, and the external screen replaces it with a breaking of the fourth wall that until now was just assumed to be opaque by the rest of the industry.

Definitely a forehead slapping moment for many.
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