AR/VR's Moment?

Like many of you, and the world to a degree, we’ve been hearing a lot about Apple’s new Vision Pro headset. We’ve even seen CEO Tim Cook' wearing the thing for the first time in a in depth profile. I even previewed it here on my newsletter previously.

As a reminder, let’s take a look at mixed reality products.

The next big thing?

I’ve been skeptical of the thing since first hearing about it. In fact, the whole category of AR/VR has long been a money pit with little real world use. USually, whenever a new invention or product category emerges, there’s usually a hell of a lot of money and people thrown at bringing it into existence.

Take Meta’s spending on it:

Meta’s spending here is logical; they missed out on Smartphones, with Apple iPhone now dominating in most developed markets. Google scooped up Android and while they’re struggling to make much headway, it left nothing for Zuck to go after.

He’s gone big on AR/VR with ‘Reality Labs’ and released a bunch of Meta Quest devices that while are fun to play with, haven’t left much of a dent on mass markets let and have cost the company billions.

Apple is always late to the game with every category; it didnt invent the PC, MP3 player, tablet or smartwatch but leads those categories - in most cases by a wide margin.

And so again, they’re late to the party with the ‘Vision Pro’. Logical right. But I just dont see this panning out to script. Apple’s appeal is being a luxury player in a sea of cheap imitators. They took Sony’s crown and then moved it to a new level. They’re now closer to LV, Hermes and Gucci than their peers.

And here’s the issue: Apple’s appeal is first and foremost, sex. They are the best, and significantly, the Apple consumer is the best of the best. It’s what makes you more attractive to a mate, colleague or business partner. It moves the culture.

And none of this happens with a computer strapped to your face. Being a geek is ok, the richest man on Earth Elon Musk is perhaps the biggest geek of all. But for the vast majority of people that aspire to wealth and all the entrapments of ‘success’, it’s not the desired way of life.

Can Vision Pro hardware improve to the point where it becomes an object of desire that enhances your self being? Perhaps it can. But personally I’m not betting on it.

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