April 22, 2024


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The man who bought the first Apple Vision Pro in New York City now reveals what he thinks of the headset

The man who bought the first Apple Vision Pro in New York City now reveals what he thinks of the headset

On February 2, Dr. Arish Sayed-Eshaqi arrived at the Apple Store on New York's Fifth Avenue early in the morning — around 5:30 a.m. — to purchase the long-awaited Apple Vision Pro.

Al-Ishaqi, who describes himself as a “crazy Apple fan” and a minority shareholder in the company, had pre-ordered a $3,500 mixed reality headset to add to his collection of Apple products. But he still wanted to be first in line for the Vision Pro, and he was. Later that day, it would be Ishaqi's face Posted online And TikTok when he came out of the store with a big smile and a box, Poses for photos And Videos Amidst a crowd of cheering Apple employees, he held his cup aloft triumphantly.

“It was very surreal,” Al-Ishaqi says, noting that he met Apple CEO Tim Cook at the New York opening, his third meeting with the Apple chief in the past 12 months.

Cook described the Vision Pro as a “revolutionary device” for Apple's product lineup. While the company has frankly kept its expectations modest for this first version of the device, positioning it primarily as something intended for fans and developers, Apple's ultimate goal is for the Vision Pro to create an entirely new product category for its business, similar to the iPhone.

The big question is whether the Vision Pro will fare better than previous generations of VR and mixed reality headsets, from Meta's Quest 3 to the ill-fated Google Glass, which struggled to catch up with audiences outside of niches like gamers. Early reviews of the Vision Pro have marveled at its capabilities, but drawbacks have been reported such as the strain it can cause on the wearer's eyes and neck after long periods, and the limited number of applications currently available. Perhaps more troubling for Apple are reports that many… Consumers have brought back the Vision Pro After playing with it for a few days, they decided that it was not what they expected or that it was not worth the small price they paid for it.

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So luck The person who may be the most famous Vision Pro user has been tracked down: Ishaqi, the first person in New York to get his hands on the device and the unofficial poster for the Apple Vision Pro. What do you think about buying it after a few weeks? How often does he wear it? Did he return it? Has his life changed? incident?

This is what Al-Ishaqi told us.

He expected some hiccups with the first-generation product

Al-Ishaqi, who lives in New Jersey, brought the device back to his entire family to try it out. (“It was a very heavy box,” he says.) His sister and parents have all tried it. His sister and mother, in particular, said they had a slight neck strain while wearing it, and Al-Ishaqi agreed that it was “a little heavy.”

“All the weight is on the front of your face. It's unbalanced,” he said, though he noted that it didn't personally bother him too much.

Al-Ishaqi is happy with the purchase of the Vision Pro, but admits he doesn't use it as much as he expected. He says that wearing it in public attracts attention.

Courtesy of Dr. Areesh Syed Ishaqi

So far, Isaaci has used the Vision Pro primarily for entertainment: to watch movies and play games like the immersive Synth Riders on Apple Arcade. Al-Ishaqi describes using the device like having your own “personal theater” with crystal-clear images — though the battery life is limited (it lasted for about three to four hours, he says, and he hopes it will improve over time). His other major complaint was that the dark scenes in some of the films he watched had glare with reflection in the lenses.

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“Those are the downsides that I've seen,” he says, though he notes that he expects some drawbacks to occur with a first-generation product and expects Apple to improve the product over time.

As a doctor who conducts oncology research and is pursuing a medical career, Ishaqi is excited about the potential he sees in some of the medical applications, including Insight Heart and Surgical AR Vision, which introduces 3D medical animation technology.

“It's a first-generation product. There are some quirks, but the potential is absolutely crazy… It's a huge achievement in my opinion.”

Was it worth it?

Al-Ishaqi says he was a little nervous because he wouldn't like the Vision Pro technology. After all, he tried the Meta's Quest 3 headset, but ran into distortion issues. He says his hands will become wavy through the lenses as he moves them up and down.

“It's a bit annoying,” Al-Ishaqi says of the mission. “With Apple, there was no such problem.” Overall, he's very impressed with the technology compared to what's on the market.

However, Al-Ishaqi admits that he uses the Vision Pro less than he expected when he bought it. He didn't expect it to be so heavy to wear or to be so insulated. When the company is over, Ishaqi says it feels strange to wear the headset even though Vision Pro wearers can see everyone around them by adjusting the so-called scrolling feature. And using it in public places, such as on a train or in a library, attracts glances – not least because of the hand movements in the air.

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“So far, I haven’t used it much,” Al-Ishaqi told me. The Vision Pro is mostly tethered and turned on to watch videos, which he says ends up being about an hour a day on average.

When I asked Al-Ishaqi if it was worth it, he said it depends.

“For someone like me? Yes,” he says. “But I don’t think anyone really needs it.” Like I said, it's a great experience, but just $4,000 for the movies – I think that's too much.

If technology becomes cheaper and lighter in the next few years, and as app developers continue to offer more apps, Al-Ishaqi says it will make more sense for the average consumer, and that “everyone will have this.”

As an early adopter, Al-Ishaqi has no plans to bring back the Vision Pro. He's glad he bought it. Besides, the 14-day return period has passed.

More Apple Vision Pro coverage from Fortune:

A working parent's review of the Apple Vision Pro

Tim Cook calls Apple's new Vision Pro headset a must-have for businesses despite the checkered history of augmented reality in the workplace

If Apple can't make smart glasses, no one can. So, what happens if Apple fails?