An Apple Store employee gave me a surprising reason to like the Vision Pro

5 minutes, 50 seconds Read

Apple Vision Pro on a stand

For missing work?

Jason Hiner/ZDNet

I haven’t been to an Apple Store in the longest time.

Nothing has gone wrong with my Apple devices in the past few years, and it’s not like Apple has released a product that particularly gives me a thrill.

But now Apple promises at least a thrill and a half with the launch Vision Pro HeadsetSo I wanted to experience the pre-launch excitement.

Also: My experience pre-ordering the Apple Vision Pro may be a sign of better things to come

I visited a Bay Area Apple store last week to see what had changed. Please let me say: not much.

Here’s the phone, there’s the laptop, and there’s the watch and the iPad. All very clean on the table.

Surprisingly, however, there was no advertisement for the Vision Pro. None of them. Somewhere. In fact, in less than 100 hours there were no signs that the Vision Pro was coming.

Which seemed a little strange.

A trained charm offensive

But before I could bathe in that weirdness, a charming salesperson wandered over and asked if he could help.

I jumped right in. “Do you have any of those glasses, by any chance?” Well, it didn’t hurt to ask.

He paused for a moment, as if he didn’t know the store sold goggles. Then he realized I was talking about the Apple Vision Pro.

Also: How These $400 XR Glasses Cured My Apple Vision Pro FOMO

“Friday,” she said. “Come at 8 a.m., get in line and you can try one. First come, first served.”

He saw my marginal disappointment and quickly added: “But it will blow your mind.”

“Oh, have you tried one?” I am amazed.

“No, but I’ve been trained on them.”

“What does that training include?”

Also: The best VR headsets right now (and how Apple Vision Pro stacks up)

“Well, we’re not allowed to talk about it, but I promise you, it’s incredible.”

He insisted on proving his point. He walked me over to a MacBook, opened the Apple website and clicked on the Vision tab.

He began playing a demonstration video that, dare I admit, was quite moving.

Someone else can see your eyes (a digital version of it) is a touchy human trait, even if imperfect. But the simple gesture and the apparent power of that gesture, even in video, is quite something.

Suddenly, it’s all business

I thought, though, that he was trying to get me excited about the more fun aspects of the Vision Pro From my first cursory glance, the device struck me as the future of entertainment — or at least that’s what I’ve heard from those in the know (claim).

Instead, he offered this: “What do you do for a living?”

I mumbled something about creativity and general BS. He insisted that Vision Pro would revolutionize my work world.

Also: Apple is now marketing the Vision Pro as the ‘ultimate entertainment device’

work? Is Vision Pro a working tool?

It never crossed my mind. When a space-age gadget comes out, I always assume it’s going to be more exciting than practical, more mind-blowing than productivity-enhancing.

“What kind of business would it be useful for?” I asked.

“Architects are going to do amazing things with it. Amazing.”

I wondered if this task-oriented sales patter was part of his Vision Pro training. Don’t let them think it’s primarily an entertainment gadget, tell them it’s a time saver and money maker And, wait, can’t businesses buy these and write them?

He saw my slightly blank face – hey, it was still before noon – and asked: “Do you think you’re going to use it?”

“Watching the movies?” I said.

Also: Apple Vision Pro: 9 reasons people give to order the $3,500 headset.

“Sure, sure. It’s going to be great, but think about how you’d work with a spatial computer,” he insisted.

I admit: it was hard. Yes, there is a virtual keyboard, but something about touching a keyboard when I type is, well, concrete. I couldn’t imagine typing into thin air.

And yes, it might sound a little weird, like I’m conducting an orchestra of pianists and timpani players.

I asked if he thought this would become the new way of life, where people walk around with goggles on their heads.

“Maybe. But it’s not just the goggles,” she insisted. “It’s computing. Spatial computing. It’s like having a computer in front of your face, with all your applications, and being able to do whatever you want.”

(Well, not all apps. Netflix and YouTube aren’t there.)

Am I sold out? Not quite yet

While trying to work out how I was going to write one of these things in my head, the salesperson spied a sale.

“Would you like to pre-order one now?” He proposed with immense optimism.

Personally, before I spend $3,499, I like to try the product first – although I know that’s not the case for everyone these days. Some people will buy it and, if they don’t like it, they’ll sell it on eBay.

Also: I’ve tried the Vision Pro and other top XR headsets and here are the ones most people should buy

\I learned that I couldn’t even make an appointment to try until launch day. (No, I’m not one to stand in line at 8 a.m. on a Friday.) How early can I get an appointment?

“After the weekend,” was the somewhat vague response.

I then tried a different question: “How many vision professionals will you have in your store?”

He muttered, but another shop employee overheard our conversation and helpfully signaled with his fingers: four.

Vision Pro, then, is a special treat. You may have to be patient before you try one.

Also: 10 Reasons Apple Vision Pro Is Secretly Brilliant

But to consider it primarily a work tool takes something of a magic leap. Could it be that, one day, instead of giving employees cubicles, or even desks, companies will simply give them a Vision Pro and let them roam an empty building?

I felt a lot of sympathy for the employees of this store working so hard to hype a product they hadn’t had a chance to try themselves. The seller who offered me four fingers discreetly said he couldn’t know if it was really The future is as long as he keeps it in his head.

I asked the female employee at the store if she would be able to try one before the pour hour at 8am on Friday morning.

“I don’t know. It doesn’t matter,” she said. “We’re here you

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