Apple’s mixed reality headset draws mixed reactions

Vision Pro, Apple’s long-anticipated mixed reality headset, has both shocked and awed observers, some of whom also wondered: but what about my mascara?

As Apple announced the price tag of its new “spatial computer” – starting at $3,499 – the audience at its keynote address in Silicon Valley gasped in unison, and then laughed.

The simultaneous “whoa” in the crowd was captured on camera and shared on TikTok by Katarina Moguz, the self-described “queen of viral hacks.”

@katamogz would you buy one?? #vr #visionpro #applevisionpro #applenews #wwdc ♬ original sound - Katarina Mogus 🤍

The headset’s price was mocked on social media, including Twitter, where one user joked, “Why God gave only two kidneys to humans,” while another noted the device was shaped like a kidney. “Coincidence?” they wondered.

Left-wing commentator Paris Marx said that Apple’s Vision Pro headset “deserves to be ridiculed.” Writing in his Disconnect blog, he argued that “tech companies want us isolated and constantly staring at screens because it drives profit.”

Investors were also initially skeptical. Following the much-hyped announcement of Vision Pro, Apple’s stock price dropped by 1%. However, some experts point out that the pricing cap is a marketing strategy.

Chance Miller, editor-in-chief of 5to9Mac, a news website on all things Apple, noted in his review of the Vision Pro that the original Mac computer sold for $2,495 in 1984, which, in 2023 dollars, would be over $7,000.

After trying out the device, he said he was impressed by it. “A lot more impressed than I expected to be,” he tweeted.

Jim Fan, AI scientist at NVIDIA, said that “Apple Vision Pro's got a good shot at making AR mainstream, finally.”

Bloomberg’s Mark Gruman said in its Power On newsletter that Apple “showed what its future could look like after the iPhone, Mac and iPad.”

While it was “far too bulky to wear on the town,” the company will make sure it will be a “do-it-all, must-have” device over the next several years, he said.

Meanwhile, Meredith Wittaker, president of the Signal messaging app, pointed out a potential practical nuisance: “How about a smartphone, but it f***s up your hair and makeup.”

Apple’s new headset is considered to be the tech giant’s riskiest and biggest bet since it first introduced the iPhone more than a decade ago. It will be released early in 2024, first in the US, and then eventually to more countries later in the year.

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