Apple Vision Pro

The Six Five team discusses Apple Vision Pro.

If you are interested in watching the full episode you can check it out here.

Disclaimer: The Six Five Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this webcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we ask that you do not treat us as such.


Daniel Newman: Anyway. All right buddy, let’s go on. Dude, let me strap my goggles on, my massive goggles, and I’ll put my battery pack in my back pocket and let’s talk Vision Pro. Wait, I don’t have one. Go.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, a lot of things to talk about here. So first off, unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Apple announced XR headset at WWDC. This is a large pair of ski-looking goggles with an external cable with a battery pack that you stick in your pocket. You can also plug it in by the way, costs $3,500, available in the US only, available early 2024, which could also mean the very last day of June. I want to give you some of my experience highlights.

I mean I’ve been looking at this area, I mean 3D stereoscopic goggles goes back to 1996, so yeah, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. [inaudible], he’s an analyst of mine, spends 50% of his time just on this topic. I urge you to read his article. I think he has 250,000 reads so far-

Daniel Newman: Holy crow. Really?

Patrick Moorhead: … of his analysis. Yeah, I know. Pretty amazing. So first off, some of the experiential highlights for me, kind of the new stuff, kind of micro finger gestures. So no paddles and no why, just think of violin in your hands type of stuff and just even putting them on the ground. And I think this is a pretty good deal.

Second observation. So typically there’s this demarcation between VR and XR, where it’s VR, nobody can see your eyes, sorry, VR and AR. AR, people can see your eyes. But what Apple did here is they actually put a display on the outside so when a person comes into view, they can start to see your eyes, they’re not your fake eyes, sorry, they’re not your real eyes, they’re actually a set of fake eyes that come up. So you can actually have a conversation with a person if they come into view. And iMessage calls, it creates a fake version of you because obviously you don’t need the external cameras, there’s cameras inside of the headsets. But I thought that was really interesting.

Headset does require a special fitting just like the early HoloLens did. So you won’t just be able to buy this, it needs to be a perfect fit to work as Apple thinks it needs to work. So a little friction there. 4K per eye, that’s good, but I think you’ll likely see pixels if you have very high visual acuity like me. Some of the immersive movie claims and demos were super exciting. But then again there’s that two hours of battery life, literally two hours of battery life. Maybe you can get a movie in, maybe you can’t. So who cares? So what?

State of the market. Market’s small, very small, driven by the challenges of people wearing goggles and having a new interface that’s not a keyboard or a mouse or a touch. This doesn’t solve the goggle problem, but does it solve the interface problem? Maybe, right? If any company’s going to nail this, I think Apple will, and I think industry wants it so competitors can come in and make it cheaper and more open. It happened like this in PCs, tablets, and smartphones. On goggles, if the experience is a must-have work experience, people will be okay more with this than consumer. People use goggles today out there for B2B, doing training, stuff like that.

Using the M2 as a processor I thought was an interesting choice given the proximity of the M3 processor. TSMC N3 nanometer claims a 30% power reduction at the same speed, you would get almost an extra hour. We’ll see the M3 based on TSMC N3 in the iPhone 15, probably available later this year, and the Vision Pro won’t even ship till early mid 2024. So it doesn’t make sense to me. Two hours battery life.

Also, let’s talk about the price. You can buy seven Meta Quest 3s for the same price. I think there’s two ways we can look at this, right? I can buy seven flip phones versus one iPhone today, but we still buy the iPhone. But the question is, is the Vision Pro experience black and white demonstrably better than the Quest 3? I don’t think so, but we’ll see. And by the way, thanks to Moore’s Law, prices will go down, but I don’t think they’ll go down as quickly as people think given all the custom silicon and capabilities and the low volumes.

That battery life. I mean can you watch a movie or complete one marathon meeting? You could plug it in. Apple will probably offer larger battery packs, but M3 would’ve been nice, another hour. Kind of thinking, “Hey, is this V1 really just a development vehicle that we’re going to sell to drive a little volume and for Apple to learn for the next five years?” But also shows us how long we’re going to have to wait to get to eight hours of continuous use with a battery pack.

So final thought is creepy. Creepy factor. There’s in particular a video and a photo of a dad sitting in a living room with his two kids talking to them with their goggles on. Looks creepy, really creepy. The second of all, I talked about that external display that shows your fake eye, a woman is talking to a man on the couch and it just looks creepy. Net net, in the end, I think if Apple moves the ball down the court on this experience, bravo, everybody benefits. Dan, your ball.

Daniel Newman: All right. So I’m going to be a little bit more optimistic about it, and when I say optimistic things about Apple, you know I really must be losing my mind because I don’t normally say any good things, not because Apple doesn’t do good things, but because they get enough credit, they don’t need my help. The product itself is, I actually kind of fall in line with you, Pat. What actually got announced was kind of like, I can remember putting on my Samsung Gear, plugging in with my 7 maybe, Samsung Galaxy and there was no looking through, but the interface kind of looked the same to me.

Now, the access to your more everyday apps on your iPhone versus the experience of getting started and loading apps and doing all the things you have to do on these other Quests and Samsungs, that’s going to be really interesting, because one of the things anyone that’s ever set up a Meta Quest or Meta knows that it takes 20, 30 minutes from the time you plug it in to start using it. I haven’t had the chance to go from zero to set up on Apple, but I have a feeling they’re going to get that right. That just seems to be something Apple will do better.

Patrick Moorhead: And by the way, we agree on that, right? Is if anybody’s going to nail the experience, it’s going to be Apple.

Daniel Newman: And so what I actually felt like, to your point, is this was a bit of the whole looking through, which I’m very bullish on, nobody wants to be confined in the dark. It really is kind of for gamers, probably adult movie watchers. I mean I’m not joking, I’m not saying that in vain, I’m being sincere. The traditional closed-in VR experience, the looking through is what I’ve said for a long time is societally, we do want to move to a immersive experience where we actually move away from this kind of thing that we’re doing all day long. And we’ve done it a little bit with this thing, I hang out with you, you use an Apple Watch, I don’t wear one, but the point is that’s given us a little bit more of ability to, “Now, that’s a really nice one.” But the-

Patrick Moorhead: This one? Oh okay, you mean this one?

Daniel Newman: There you go buddy. But the ability to quickly glance and not always be in and out. I went to a dinner with a customer this week in San Jose with Cloudera, we’ll talk about them soon. And I actually sat for two hours at a dinner and never looked at my phone. And then at the end of it they actually mentioned how weird that was, that I did that because they just know me, that’s not normal. So the whole idea of moving to more of what I would call an immersive periphery kind of experience where you can have some of the data and important things in this viewpoint while concurrently being physically in a moment is interesting to me.

And that’s what I think Apple will eventually get to. And that’s why I kind of look at this as a seminal moment. The idea of sitting in your family room, strapped into this thing with a battery pack in your left pocket while raising your children and cooking dinner to me seems completely obtuse. I do not see people in their kitchen making a salad while viewing a movie up here and looking through and raising their children. To me, it’s still got that kind of gimmicky thing right now. But what I really wanted to get out and my point really on this whole thing was this is going to land. I am telling you, Apple did not just put out a bomb. This will not fail, but it’s not in its, what I would call, iPhone moment yet-

Patrick Moorhead: What’s your timeframe, Dan? What’s your timeframe-

Daniel Newman: Three years.

Patrick Moorhead: … of success or failure?

Daniel Newman: Two or three years, they’ll put out a product that I think will be usable in our more everyday life and it will be, when it’s ready, it will look a little bit more like maybe a thick rim horn-type pair of glasses.

Patrick Moorhead: I’ll tell you what though, it has to be enclosed. This current use case is 100% enclosed, given that movie experience that they show. I think it’d be hard to have a movie experience without having, and I don’t know if you remember, there was some glasses in the 60s or 70s that had leather on the side that would give you the full piece. But I think that’s going to be hard to do with regular glasses.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I mean I’m not a John Ivy type. I don’t have that kind of vision and innovation and I don’t know what can be done with low power and tethering to a protect. I still always envisioned a tether that would be going on. And so the compute probably wouldn’t actually be in the glass, but again, that requires a lot of engineering and design and low power and the ability to have almost no latency while doing something wirelessly. So there’s a lot of reasons that may or may not work. I’m just telling you, I just don’t think… It was kind of like I joked, when Nvidia put out that $4 billion guide up and I said, “There’s no way they did that if they didn’t know they could hit it.” And Apple, I just don’t see any chance that they would’ve launched this knowing this was the best it was ever going to be. They know they’re going to be able to do better.

And what I really think in the end is they’re going to solve the immersion problem. And whether this version ends up being the version, the immersion problem is that AR and VR and spatial computing has an application, but right now it has mostly forced us to exit the physical realm to be in the digital realm. And even the glasses, they’re still kind of weird. You got all… What I’m saying is at some point we need to be able to physically and digitally co-exist in kind of Terminator mode. And so, is Apple going to build a more elegant Terminator mode? And I think they’re going to be the ones that get it right.

And by the way, I also think they just have this prophetic desire to be in Meta’s garbage and just causing Meta so much discomfort and pain all the time if they can because Meta’s been doing this for a decade. They’ve been spending billions of dollars every month and then Apple comes out with a product that’s okay, it’s interesting, and instantly all of a sudden everyone’s like, “Woo hoo, it’s ready.” Meta has been doing this a long time and other people have too, but when Apple does something, it tends to mean it and it tends to stick.

Patrick Moorhead: Good feedback. Good ads.

Daniel Newman: I know it’s my turn now and I’m supposed to keep going, but I just wanted to pause there just in case you had anything. Again, I think we covered the gamut of worst to best and the whole story. And I think we actually agree on more than we don’t. But I guess my point was I just walked away positive more that spatial computing just found gravity and before, to me, it was still a gimmick.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


Latest Insights:

On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome Intel’s Greg Lavender and Sandra Rivera for a conversation on Intel’s AI Portfolio during Intel Innovation in San Jose, California.
A Ride-Hailing Service Powered by 100% Renewable Energy
Clint Wheelock, Chief Research Officer at The Futurum Group, examines Waymo’s announcement that it has decided to focus its efforts and investment on Waymo One, its ride-hailing service.
From Digital Transformations To Periodic Software Reviews, Increased Visibility Can Help Reduce Costs and Improve Application Utilization
Keith Kirkpatrick, Research Director at The Futurum Group, covers WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform and discusses why the tool is useful for organizations that are expanding or consolidating their software tech stacks.
Are Consulting Firms Best Positioned To Lead Enterprise AI Transformation?
Mark Beccue, Research Director at The Futurum Group, examines the EY and BCG announcements about major AI initiatives and how these offerings will affect the market.