Apple Vision Pro Transformed the Real World into a ‘Black Mirror’ Episode Instantaneously

Apple Vision Pro Transformed the Real World into a ‘Black Mirror’ Episode Instantaneously


Screengrabs: @victor_abarca via X, @lentinidante via X, @AlexFinnX via X

The Launch and Public Experimentation of Apple’s Vision Pro

The Vision Pro, Apple’s new VR and mixed-reality headset, generated a wealth of dystopian images as influencers took the premium device out for a spin in the real world after its launch on Friday. 

Real-World Examples of Vision Pro in Use

Here are just a few examples: YouTubers Isaac Mosna and Patrick Tomasso went out for dinner while both wearing the $3,499 goggles; X user Dante wore the headset while in a self-driving Tesla, tapping at the air until the clip cuts to show him parked with police lights flashing in his rear window; a man wore his Vision Pro on the subway to work, which, again, to others looks like gesturing at nothing in the ether; Casey Neistat unsteadily climbed a set of stairs while responding to texts wearing the headset; and YouTuber Victor Abarca even held a dinner party where the guests clinked glasses while looking at each other through pass-through video feeds. In one clip, X user Alex Finn sits in his living room, surrounded by seven virtual screens showing sports and social media, before reaching for a sandwich (another clip, where he’s surrounded by TikTok videos, is even more disorienting). 

Mixed Receptions and Black Mirror Comparisons

While the creators behind many of these posts and videos lauded the Vision Pro—Neistat called it the “single greatest piece of tech I’ve ever used”—many observers pointed out that this is all just a little bit Black Mirror, and lamented a possible future where people walk around not looking at the real world with their real eyes, but a video feed. Even Tomasso, the YouTuber who went viral for eating out with the headset on, said there’s “something bizarre, something weird about having this buffer of technology between me and you” in his video, which is called “the sad reality of apple vision pro.” 

The Public’s Skepticism and Concerns Over Social Impacts

The good news is that there’s very little chance of that sci-fi dystopian future coming to pass anytime soon. The viral content around the Vision Pro so far is just that: Content made by professional posters that is purposefully outlandish and provocative in order to get a reaction.

And the reaction, so far, has been highly reminiscent of the cold reception that Google Glass received a decade ago, when people who wore the smart glasses in public were labeled narcissistic “glassholes.” The Apple Vision Pro is an apparently very impressive piece of engineering, but one that is still clunky, massively anti-social, and, frankly, a target for opportunistic thieves. 

High Cost and Future Accessibility of Vision Pro

There’s also the hefty price tag. The Vision Pro runs at $3,499 with the optional battery pack that lets you wear it without being tethered costing an additional $199. This is not something that the majority of people are able to engage with, even if they wanted to. 

The cost of entry into the Vision Pro’s so-called “spatial computing” experience is likely to come down, whether via Apple or the competition such as Meta, and the form-factor may improve. But until this can all be packed into a device as discreet as a regular pair of glasses, it seems unlikely that real-life Black Mirror will extend beyond people’s living rooms for a while yet.

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