Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced Apple’s next big gadget after launching the first Apple Watch in 2015 – the Vision Pro. He described the Vision Pro ‘headset’ as the next big thing in personal technology. But if it’s so exciting then why did Tim Cook or any of Apple’s senior executives not wear the Vision Pro headset on stage at WWDC 2023?
For the record, Apple– not even for once– has called the Vision pro, a headset. Apple likes to refer to the Vision Pro as a spatial computer. Of course, no one is stopping you from calling it a headset or an ‘Apple ski glass’ or Apple goggles.
You may argue that Tim Cook wears spectacles and it may get difficult to adjust the headset while giving a live demo on stage. But what’s weird is that, if you observe the keynote of WWDC 2023, neither Tim Cook nor any of the senior Apple executives was seen wearing the Vision Pro. In fact, there isn’t one photo of Tim Cook wearing the headset in public. Why so?
One reason could be that Apple is being careful. The Vision Pro is expensive and Apple is promising a lot. Also, the launch of the device is controlled. It will be first launched in the US next year and then may be released in other parts of the world but in a phased manner.
Another aspect to consider is that Apple is trying to protect the brand image of Vision Pro and of course, that of its executives. This launch is important for Tim Cook and maybe Apple just doesn’t want the Vision Pro ‘headset’ to drive a ‘meme fest’ online, even before the product actually arrives.
Talking about memes, whenever Apple launches a new product at its events, people seem to be ready to make memes around it. Going beyond the kidney jokes, the powerful Mac Pro computer quickly became the ‘cheesegrater Mac Pro’; there were memes around the dynamic island, then of course, the bendgate and ‘iPhone triple-camera gas burner’ references.
Apple is always very careful about how it presents the new products, the public image of its executives and that of the brand or the products. So, maybe it’s trying to avoid a repeat of the “cheesegrater Mac Pro” episode.
Apple has just presented the Vision Pro ‘headset’. It will only face the real product-market fit test next year, when consumers buy it for $3499 or over Rs 3 lakh in India.
While the most exciting aspect of the WWDC 2023 keynote was the “One More thing…” announcement of Vision Pro, the keynote attendees were up for a little surprise. Like with all Apple events, just after the keynote gets over, the attendees go to the general demo area to try out the latest from Apple. But this time, the attendees were not allowed to touch the Vision Pro headset. Forget the headset, they were not even allowed to touch the table on which the Vision Pro headset was displayed. All that the attendees could do was to click photos of the Vision Pro headset– from a distance. So, in reality, you will not find any real-life photo of someone actually wearing the Vision Pro yet.
Apple had set up a separate demo zone entirely for the headset where select attendees from the media, bloggers and other sections were ‘secretly’ taken to experience the Vision Pro. But guess what, even they weren’t allowed to click selfies with the Vision Pro. Apple just doesn’t want any controversy with the Vision Pro right now.