Augmented Reality
1 min read

Augmented Reality

Thoughts on the Vision Pro and Meta Ray-Ban glasses.

This month I used both the Meta Ray-Ban glasses and the Apple Vision Pro for the first time.

While they are very different products, each one offers a compelling vision into the future of augmented reality.

The Vision Pro is very much a professional tool. It is clearly designed for use at home. When I use it, I imagine myself like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, sitting at a workstation where I can control my entire life with a floating dashboard. While there aren't many apps yet, the hardware feels powerful enough to support new experiences that are totally different from anything I've used before. After about an hour of continuous use I need to take a break otherwise my eyes and neck start to hurt. Unlike the latest versions of the Mac or iPhone, which are iterations on the same basic concept, the interactions within the Vision Pro feel completely novel. I have no doubt that younger generations will instantly be more comfortable with it than I am, which is the sign of a truly new platform.

The Ray-Bans feel like a proof-of-concept. There is a camera, a microphone, and not much else. They are much cheaper, coming in at ~1/10th the price of the Vision Pro. If the Vision Pro is a laptop, the Ray-Bans feel like a phone. I use them to take calls and photos on-the-go, without worrying about taking my phone out of my pocket. The audio quality is superb and, most surprisingly, the microphone software removes background noise better than my AirPod Pros. Because of this they have become my daily driver for walking meetings.

It seems obvious that these futures are going to converge. The Ray-Bans will get better and the Vision Pro will get smaller. Once the Ray-Bans can project images onto lenses, I'll never take them off. Once the Vision Pro stops making me look like an Alien Snorkler, I'll stop being embarrassed to put it on in public.