If you want to try Apple Vision Pro, get ready to wait a while

Macworld

Most of Apple’s products are easy to understand, even when they’re brand new. Customers in 2007 might not have been familiar with smartphones, but they almost all understood the concept of a cellphone: the iPhone was like that, only more so. The iPad was an iPhone, only bigger. Even the Apple Watch’s smartwatch category had a similar enough precedent of dumb wristwatches to fall back on.

But Vision Pro, which will be available for preorder on Friday, is a different proposition altogether. Apple won’t simply have to sell the product, it will have to sell the entire product category to customers who’ve never tried a VR headset. And that’s not an easy task for hurried store employees hoping to make a $3,499 sale.

With this in mind, the company has devised an in-depth sales demo that will ensure potential buyers get the best possible experience with the device. Unlike the brief run-down and features demo available to the average visitor showing an interest in a MacBook or HomePod, this will last, according to a new report, a full 25 minutes.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg reporter and prolific leaker Mark Gurman reveals that Apple has prepared “its most sophisticated sales pitch ever” for the launch of Vision Pro. This begins with a facial scan to ensure the correct light seal, cushioning, and headband are used for a perfect fit, followed by, where necessary, a second scan to choose appropriate lenses, a basic introduction to the device’s controls and interface, and some calibration exercises.

Once all of that is out of the way, the actual demo can begin. The potential customer will be guided through a four-step process during which they will view still images, panoramas, “spatial” 3D images, videos, and immersive movies and sports clips, scroll through web pages in Safari arrange app windows in space, and check out some third-party apps. The aim, Gurman explains, is to create an experience that’s “compelling but not exhausting–ideally leaving them itching for more.” It may also be relevant that some retail staff, according to Gurman, have complained of tiredness and sweatiness after half an hour of use with Vision Pro, so any demo would ideally stop before getting to that point.

It remains to be seen how well Apple’s existing network of stores will stand up to the logistical headaches this will create: if a trained staff member is going to be put out of action for half an hour every time someone shows an interest in Vision Pro, will there be enough employees left to cater for everyone else? Will there even be enough demo units on hand? (Gurman says the largest stores could have more than a dozen, but things might be more difficult for the smaller locations.) The tricky thing here is that Apple expects an initial surge of interest, followed by a dip, so any changes in the in-store setup will need to be temporary.

Thanks to its novelty and high price tag, Vision Pro is not expected to sell in large numbers, though will still probably sell out on Friday. But in the longer term, Apple is hoping that the Vision ecosystem of products will take over from the iPhone as its flagship seller, by which point demonstrating headsets will become the main job of Apple Store employees. So in the end this could end up being one of those nice problems to have.

Virtual Reality

​Macworld Macworld

Most of Apple’s products are easy to understand, even when they’re brand new. Customers in 2007 might not have been familiar with smartphones, but they almost all understood the concept of a cellphone: the iPhone was like that, only more so. The iPad was an iPhone, only bigger. Even the Apple Watch’s smartwatch category had a similar enough precedent of dumb wristwatches to fall back on.

But Vision Pro, which will be available for preorder on Friday, is a different proposition altogether. Apple won’t simply have to sell the product, it will have to sell the entire product category to customers who’ve never tried a VR headset. And that’s not an easy task for hurried store employees hoping to make a $3,499 sale.

With this in mind, the company has devised an in-depth sales demo that will ensure potential buyers get the best possible experience with the device. Unlike the brief run-down and features demo available to the average visitor showing an interest in a MacBook or HomePod, this will last, according to a new report, a full 25 minutes.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg reporter and prolific leaker Mark Gurman reveals that Apple has prepared “its most sophisticated sales pitch ever” for the launch of Vision Pro. This begins with a facial scan to ensure the correct light seal, cushioning, and headband are used for a perfect fit, followed by, where necessary, a second scan to choose appropriate lenses, a basic introduction to the device’s controls and interface, and some calibration exercises.

Once all of that is out of the way, the actual demo can begin. The potential customer will be guided through a four-step process during which they will view still images, panoramas, “spatial” 3D images, videos, and immersive movies and sports clips, scroll through web pages in Safari arrange app windows in space, and check out some third-party apps. The aim, Gurman explains, is to create an experience that’s “compelling but not exhausting–ideally leaving them itching for more.” It may also be relevant that some retail staff, according to Gurman, have complained of tiredness and sweatiness after half an hour of use with Vision Pro, so any demo would ideally stop before getting to that point.

It remains to be seen how well Apple’s existing network of stores will stand up to the logistical headaches this will create: if a trained staff member is going to be put out of action for half an hour every time someone shows an interest in Vision Pro, will there be enough employees left to cater for everyone else? Will there even be enough demo units on hand? (Gurman says the largest stores could have more than a dozen, but things might be more difficult for the smaller locations.) The tricky thing here is that Apple expects an initial surge of interest, followed by a dip, so any changes in the in-store setup will need to be temporary.

Thanks to its novelty and high price tag, Vision Pro is not expected to sell in large numbers, though will still probably sell out on Friday. But in the longer term, Apple is hoping that the Vision ecosystem of products will take over from the iPhone as its flagship seller, by which point demonstrating headsets will become the main job of Apple Store employees. So in the end this could end up being one of those nice problems to have.

Virtual Reality 

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