Thoughts and Lessons from the Apple Vision Pro Presentation at WWDC
Let me start by saying before the WWDC Keynote, I wasn’t even remotely excited about Apple VR product.
The Meta Quest doesn’t excite me, and when I had Google Glass, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.
Suffice to say, Apple blew me away with their approach to the Apple Vision Pro. And the early reviews do not disappoint.
From a business/technology/create approach, here were my initial thoughts:
Apple shows you can go cheap, or you can go impressive. Meta announced a $500 version of the Quest mere days before WWDC. Part of the reason I wasn’t excited for Apple’s version is I’m not even remotely interested in the Quest or the Metaverse.
But Apple went high end, making the Vision Pro a full $3000 more than the cheaper version of the quest.
Not everyone will be on board, but there’s no denying that their product is impressive in such a way that Meta is getting dragged on Twitter. Meta basically owned this space for the past 5-7 years and Apple just kinda blew them up.
The lesson: Don’t just race to the bottom. You can create a high-end service and charge a premium if you impress.
They are reusing Aux tech created in VR for other apps. Earlier in the keynote, they showed an iPad feature where they tell you if you’re holding the screen too close.
I can’t help but think this was tech they developed for eye tracking on the Vision Pro, that made its way into other parts of the OS already.
The lesson: use your sawdust. When you create, look at each part of your process and see how you can use it.
They are smartly taking familiar experiences and moving them to a new medium first. One of the problems with the Meta Quest, that Sara Dietschy points out, is the interface and experience is unintuitive because it’s unfamiliar.
But Apple took several things into account when they design the UX for the Vision Pro:
- We know how to use our eyes and hands
- We know how to use the apps they demoed
- The ideas behind the UX are familiar (make a call, send a text, browse a website, etc)
All of these combined means everything comes very naturally to us.
The lesson: Lower your learning curve, lower your barrier to entry, and you’ll create better, happier experiences for your customers.
They are never first to market, but they are much better when they enter. There’s a reason that post-1997 Apple is never first to market on a product.
They do a ton of research on real-world use. During the presentation, they used the term “cheek width” to point out they’ve studied faces.
But with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods, they took care to truly understand how people use the current crop of products, and improved upon them.
The VR/AR space is so controversial already; even though it’s been around for 10+ years, there’s still a lot of mainstream pushback.
Creating a whole other world is weird, uncanny valley, dystopian nonsense to a lot of people.
But Apple focused on how their product augments your current experience. You can still see your environment. You can still see real people in the real space. And they can see your eyes.
The lesson: There’s a lot of weight put on being first to market so you can make a name for yourself. But you could just be better. If you impress, reuse lessons you’ve learned, and create better experiences, you can blow up the competition.