Apple Vision Pro Users Compete to Attempt the Most Absurd Stunts Possible

Apple Vision Pro Users Compete to Attempt the Most Absurd Stunts Possible


The Hype and Embarrassment of Early Adopters

Early adopters couldn’t wait to put the new mixed-reality headset to the test — and the results have been embarrassing

The Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset. FATIH AKTAS/ANADOLU/GETTY IMAGES

Public Response to Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro, a $3,500 mixed reality headset with strong “Google Glass 2.0” vibes, is now on sale, and it has already proved as divisive as its failed predecessor. On one side are the multitude of haters dismissing the bulky computer goggles as “stupid.” On the other is an army of tech influencers and Apple zealots who don’t mind looking stupid as long as they get to feel like the hero of a sci-fi movie (while racking up social media engagement).

Testing New Features in Real-World Scenarios

Any early adopter with this device strapped to their face is understandably drawing stares in public. But the bewildered reactions have hardly dampened users’ resolve to hype it as a transformative interface. Gregory McFadden, a YouTube tech reviewer who called the product “INSANE,” ventured to demonstrate how it will change the way we navigate by GPS. “Using map direction with Vision Pro is actually amazing,” he tweeted on Sunday, sharing a short recording in which he has Apple Maps pulled up in his display. The replies were not kind, with some asking whether this was meant to be a joke and a couple of critics pointing out that McFadden had to use his hand to keep the map window open for as long as he wanted to view it.

Criticism from Industry Experts

Brian Merchant, Los Angeles Times tech columnist and author of Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech, was particularly scathing in his analysis. “In the future, there is no need to clumsily hold a phone in front of your face to see directions on an app,” he tweeted. Instead, he explained, “the phone is mounted directly onto your face and the app simulates another phone held in front of your face with a map app open. The battery lasts 1 hour.”

Dangerous Stunts for Social Media Attention

YouTuber Casey Neistat’s review, seen more than 4 million times in just 48 hours, begins with a shot of him riding an electric skateboard in the bus lane of a street in Manhattan, eyes obscured by the reflective lens of his Vision Pro. Admittedly, the rest of the stuff he does is less dangerous. “Standing at a subway stop watching a MrBeast video is a pretty special experience,” he claims after doing just that. (People with regular old iPhones can also do this, for the record.) Exiting the subway, Neistat stops in his tracks and blocks a staircase while tapping out a short text on a virtual keyboard — behavior perfectly calculated to aggravate his fellow New Yorkers. Later on, in a café, he holds a donut aloft, attempting to make a virtual butterfly interact with the pastry.

Inappropriate Use While Driving

At least McFadden and Neistat tried to make a case for the practical applications or entertainment value of this thing. You can’t say the same for the Tesla bros spotted driving with the headset on — despite Apple’s warning against this risky behavior. Palo Alto resident Dante Lentini posted a video making it appear as if police had pulled him over for wearing the Vision Pro while cruising his Tesla down a highway on Autopilot, though he later told PopSci that the traffic stop was staged, adding that he only pretended to use the glasses in the footage and had worn them for just a few intervals of 10-to-15 seconds each.

Reckless Public Displays

Not to be outdone, a Cybertruck owner also sped along a freeway with both hands off the steering wheel, as he evidently needed them to futz around with the apps on his Vision Pro. The clip drew a scolding tweet from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who noted that driver assistance systems “require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times.” Another Cybertruck guy pulled millions of views on X (formerly Twitter) by exiting his vehicle in a Vision Pro, making exaggerated gestures that surely had no corresponding effect on his screen as he walked into a parking lot.

Misplaced Priorities of the Wealthy

Though the prospect of being run over by a self-driving Tesla because its owner was distracted by “spatial computing” is cause for alarm, it does seem on-brand for our current dystopia. Elsewhere, you have people wearing the Vision Pro in circumstances that might baffle even these overeager futurists. Who knows why a dude with floor seats at a recent Boston Celtics game was watching the action through the gadget, apart from a latent desire to serve as an embarrassing symbol of excess wealth. Legendary Apple reviewer Justine Ezarik (better known as iJustine) dared to take her Vision Pro into the pool, not because it’s waterproof — quite the contrary — but to show that you can, uh, check the stock market while half-submerged.

The Irony of Augmented Reality

Of course, the real beauty of this hardware is that you don’t need to come up with some elaborate stunt to show it off. Swagger down the sidewalk and poke wildly at the air like you’re writing code or hacking offshore bank accounts — those of us stuck with primitive smartphones will get it on video so you have the chance to see yourself as the wannabe cyborg you actually are. Augmented reality may have a lot of potential, but there’s nothing it can do about the judgment of strangers.

From Rolling Stone US.