Do you have 30 minutes to discover one of the The biggest, riskiest, and most controversial Apple product launches of recent decades? The tech giant is still holding demos for its Apple Vision Pro in shops across the United States If you’re like us and don’t have $3,500 lying around in a coat pocket – or you don’t have other ultra-rich friends to hang out with – it This may be your only chance to get your hands dirty. -with Apple’s manual “space computer”. Additionally, you may not be able to book one of the 30-minute demos for much longer.
Gizmodo was unable to obtain a headset from the company ahead of the official unveiling. After its release, I quickly made an appointment for a consumer demonstration at the many Apple Stores in New York. Even though it was only a few days after the launch on February 2, I still had to book my demo a week in advance. Whether it is a weekday, a weekend, a morning, an afternoon or an evening, you must anticipate before betting on a time slot.
To book the demo you need to visit the official website VisionPro page and find one of the stores in your area. You can currently only reserve demos until February 18, and Apple has said you can only reserve up to a week in advance. The company doesn’t have an exact date for when it plans to end these demo sessions, but we’ll have to wait to see how long the interest lasts and how long Apple plans to support the complex device from in-store demonstration.
In the warmly lit depths of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, there are 16 faux-leather sofas crammed together in the back of the basement store. Each station had its own tray magnetically attached to the seat, and a few employees, aka “Genies,” handed out headsets on bamboo trays like waiters at a wine and cheese party. I chose this location because it’s where Apple’s first Vision Pro customer, Aarish Syed, wrapped his arms around the VR headset and took a selfie as the gathered crowd applauded him as he came to win the world’s most expensive single-ticket scratch-off lottery. .
Every station there was booked even though it was 11 a.m. on a Monday. You’ll want to be on time and check in with one of the roving staff members who manages appointments (most likely that employee holding a tablet in their hands). My device appeared clean, so Apple seems to place a high value on sanitation. They are also very picky about how you pick up and put the device in place, despite how durable the Vision Pros apparently are. The demo is 30 minutes long and you should know that it is highly curated and in many ways limited.
The demo area resembles other Apple launches like their latest iPhone, but the Vision Pro demos are even more complicated than usual. First, you need to allow Apple to scan your mug so workers can get a proper seal for your noggin. This can be a pain, especially if you’re like me and have a beard that seems to disrupt the face scanning app. Once your Vision Pro is served to you on a tray, you follow the precise steps of attaching, adjusting the seal and checking the helmet. You’ll only have to worry about three gestures: the “pinch” selection gesture, the wave gesture for browsing web pages or photo reels, and the two-handed pinch and drag to resize different windows.
Apple emphasizes its spatial video and 3D content viewing experience. Much of the demo is devoted to reviewing “spatial” images and “spatial” videos taken with both the Vision Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro (in case you’re wondering, the ones taken with headphones are much better quality than the smartphone versions). The team will also allow you to watch a short trailer for the 3D version of The Super Mario Bros. movie. in the fake cinema mode integrated into the headset.
You get a few minutes of scrolling on Safari and the ability to check out one or two other apps of your choice. You can get a feel for the spatial environment and use the digital crown to switch from switching to color to one of the faux-3D visual environments, which in the case of the demo was a scenic lakeside view. And after going through a few of these apps, your demo is complete. You just need to get a taste for the helmet and feel its contours and weight to judge the overall comfort.
The number of simultaneous demos shows that this is a huge effort on Apple’s part. All the time, employees ask you what you think and if you would consider buying the $3,500 headset. I’ve been thinking about my first use of the Vision Pro, so stick around and find out how well Apple sold me on its non-VR VR headset.
Updated 02/12/24 at 4:25 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to reflect that there are no current plans to end in-store demos at this time.