Apple Vision Pro is Cultivating a New Generation of “Glassholes

Apple Vision Pro is Cultivating a New Generation of “Glassholes


Public Use of Apple’s New Headset: A Safety Hazard?

If you’ve paid any attention to social media in the past four days, it’s likely you haven’t been able to escape the torrent of photos and videos of people wearing Apple’s new $3,499 headset in public, tapping away at empty space in front of them, rudely waving at cars, or sporting a pair while driving a Tesla.

A Flashback to “Glassholes” with Apple’s Latest Device

We had a word for people like that a decade ago: Glassholes. Thanks to Apple, they’re roaring back to life in an era when bad viral internet content and questionable vehicle autonomy technology adds a whole new dimension of safety risk.

US Transportation Secretary Responds to Reckless Driving Video

The Apple Vision Pro was only released this past Friday, February 2, but US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has already had to weigh in after a video of a Tesla Cybertruck driver using a Vision Pro headset went viral over the weekend, showing them tapping at space in front of them while their vehicle hurtled down a freeway, hands free.

“Reminder—ALL advanced driver assistance systems available today require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times,” Buttigieg said in a post to X.

Clarifications and Concerns on Viral Vision Pro Driving Videos

The Cybertruck driver captured in the footage later claimed the whole thing was a joke, and that the headset “wasn’t displaying anything but the road.”

That video wasn’t the only footage of a Tesla driver wearing a Vision Pro headset to hit algorithmic gold over the weekend either – another video posted to X showed a Tesla driver using a Vision Pro headset while driving before appearing to be pulled over by police.

Inevitable Risks of Social Media Challenges and Trends

Let’s not kid ourselves, though. Stunts like these are only going to attract copycats, with the end result eventually being someone endangering themselves, and possibly others.

History Repeats Itself: From Google Glass to Apple’s Vision Pro

This bad behavior isn’t even new. Use of head-mounted computers while driving caught headlines in the Google Glass era too. In 2014, a California woman was ticketed for wearing a Google Glass headset while driving, though the case was dismissed after her lawyer successfully argued the headset was off, and thus not a safety risk.

The Potential Danger of Apple Vision Pro When Driving

Glassholes, however, had one major advantage over Vision Pro wearers: They could actually see the real world. The Vision Pro might look transparent, but it’s just as solid as any other VR headset on the market, meaning a wearer’s view of the world around them is only as good as Apple’s software makes it.

Apple didn’t respond to questions for this story, but the Vision Pro’s safety information page makes it clear that the headset isn’t designed to be used behind the wheel – or anywhere else you wouldn’t usually use a VR headset.

The Reality of Misinterpreting Viral Content in the Post-Truth Era

Whether or not all those viral Vision Pro videos from the weekend were legitimate or staged doesn’t matter. We live in the post-truth era of viral internet memes, lest you forget, and it’s only a matter of time before someone assumes what they’ve seen online reflects reality, gets behind the wheel while wearing Apple hardware, and proves George Carlin was right yet again.

The Growing Trend vs. The Reality of Product Limitations

Sure, they were obnoxious, but the threat to public safety presented by Google Glass is nothing like what we’ll get when the Apple Vision Pro inevitably combines with risky online behavior. Now if only “Vision Pro” was easier to turn into an insulting portmanteau. ®

Post-Scriptum: Tech Analyst’s Disappointment with Vision Pro

PS: A tech analyst who was impressed during Apple’s early controlled demos of the Vision Pro has started using the gear for real, and found it disappointing: The field of view is narrow, and the user interface is difficult to manage.