SCIENCE & TECH: Apple set to unveil Vision Pro headset likened to ‘digital fentanyl’
Apple is set to unveil its new Vision Pro headset hailed as “revolutionary” by James Cameron and Marvel director Jon Favreau — while others have likened the clunky device to “digital fentanyl” and a “face-hugging alien.”
Tim Cook and his virtual reality team are gearing up for the Friday launch of its groundbreaking $3,500 device, which weighs about the same as five sticks of butter and earned accolades for its futuristic abilities by Cameron, the virtual reality pioneer and “Titanic” filmmaker.
“I would say my experience was religious,” Cameron, who has been working in VR for 18 years, told Vanity Fair. “I don’t bow down before the great god of Apple, but I was really, really blown away.”
But not everyone was as star-struck as Cameron, with some Silicon Valley investors hoping the hefty product — both in weight and price — would sink under its own ambition.
“I’m sure the technology is terrific. I still think and hope it fails,” a Silicon Valley investor, who was not identified, told the magazine. “Apple feels more and more like a tech fentanyl dealer that poses as a rehab provider.”
The device weighs about 20 ounces and once strapped to someone’s head can shoot 23 million pixels into each eyeball, giving it the “equivalent of the resolution of a 75-inch TV.”
From a technical perspective, the experience has been described as life-changing.
A Conde Nast reporter who tried the headset over a series of weeks said reality began to feel far less superior than the augmented version beamed into his eyes.
Mark Hurst, the CEO of online strategy consulting company Creative Good, criticized Apple’s new wearable tech product as an “isolating device.”
“It’s a face-hugging alien strapped to your face,” said Hurst, who hosts the radio show Techtonic on WFMU. “Apple can create whatever experience it wants. Whatever the experience, it’s only you having it.”