Mark Gurman's latest newsletter says Apple remains concerned about the Vision Pro's weight and is working on the next generation of the headset. easier.
Gurman also describes the challenges the company faces in handling prescription lenses, which many customers will need…
Vision Pro Weight Issues
When Apple announced the Vision Pro back in June, it let select members of the media try it out for themselves – our own Chance Miller is among them – and the weight of the headset was one of the concerns he raised.
I wore the Vision Pro for about 30 minutes, and my experience overall was positive. The fabric is soft and breathable, there's plenty of padding around the eyes, and I felt comfortable (but not too comfortable) on my head.
However, it's definitely on the heavier side. I could absolutely see that I was tired of wearing it after long sessions.
Apple has already made two important decisions aimed at reducing weight. First, it made the design more compact, but it also left users with no room to carry prescription glasses. More on this in a moment.
Secondly, Apple reduced the battery weight in the Vision Pro by choosing to use a separate tethered battery. This decision caused a lot of criticism at the time of its announcement.
But Gurman, in his latest Power On newsletter, says the company wants to do more with the next model.
Work on the next Vision Pro is still ahead, but the company is hopeful make the device lighter and at least a little smaller. It currently weighs about a pound, and testing has shown that some users may find it too heavy—even for short periods of time. Apple is considering solving this problem in the first model with a head strap, but lighter hardware is the best long-term solution.
Headache from prescription lenses
Gurman says the prescription lens issue also affects Apple. The sheer variety of lens combinations that will be required can be a nightmare for retailers who will need to have every combination in stock for both fitting and shopping.
Best comment from Think Different
The problem with custom prescription lenses is a serious problem, but at least Apple is getting a handle on it. Other companies, like Sony, simply ignore this and leave it up to third-party lens manufacturers. The results are very bad. The PSVR2 is so uncomfortable to wear and has such a small sweet spot where images are clear that many owners, myself included, rarely use it. Meta has struck a deal with Zenni Optical and will ship $50 prescription lenses the same day as the Quest 3. It's amazing that the 75% of adults who need prescription lenses have been ignored by the VR industry for so long.
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Gurman says the company is considering shipping headsets with custom lenses pre-installed—so you can try one on in a store, determine which lenses you need, and then wait for your custom headset to arrive. you. But this option has its problems.
The process of offering thousands of different lens combinations has proven to be a headache for Apple's operations teams. Luckily, the company has a solution: ship custom headsets from the factory with prescription lenses pre-installed.
This may make things easier for customers, but it also creates new problems. First, built-in prescription lenses could make Apple something of a healthcare provider. The company may not want to deal with this. Additionally, this level of customization will make it more difficult for consumers to share or resell the headset. And, of course, the user's vision prescription can change over time.
The Apple Glasses project is likely not abandoned
Back in January, Gurman reported that the Apple Glasses project had been put on hold indefinitely to focus on the Vision Pro and its successors.
I expressed then expressed his skepticism about this report, expressing the opinion that the Glasses project has always been a long-term project, so putting it on hold does not make much sense.
Apple Glasses is currently a promising project. Getting them to do everything they're expected to do in a device that has all-day battery life, a form factor similar to prescription glasses, and is affordable enough to be a consumer product (even an Apple product) is an extremely ambitious project. One that has always taken many years: it has never been able to quickly follow Apple's 1st or 2nd generation headsets.
Gourmet doesn't have any updates here. but says he expects the company to “accelerate development” again at some point.