Ben Szymanski

Software Engineer • Vlogging about efoils, tech and music • πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ & 🐊

photo of lady wearing vision pro, side by side with a mock up I made of a homepod projecting an interface on a wall

I don't doubt that the Apple Vision Pro demos are amazing. Hell, I'm sure they are. But I'm not buying into it, literally and figuratively.

Spatial computing is here, Apple says. I can't argue against that, cause, well... they actually delivered! But I think they've gone about it all wrong. As cool as it is, as futuristic as it seems, my impression of the Apple Vision Pro is that it's a product that shouldn't be, and that most people won't ever find a use for it.

What we need are projected interfaces, and I wish Apple would be the people to make that happen.

Putting something like a short-throw projector into a HomePod would be a helluava lot more accessible and helluava lot less fuss for end-users.

I envision:

  • Short-throw projector in a HomePod
  • Simple, flat, 2D interface projected on to walls that the HomePod is set against. Could even be black and white.
  • Nice big heads up displays, widgets.
  • Interactivity by way of a revamped Apple Remote, or gestures in the air that are captured by a revamp'd Xbox connect sensor.

The benefits would be:

  • No clunky headset to lug around.
  • Not needing to charge batteries, steady supply of power from the wall.
  • Less fuss with cables.
  • No weight on head.
  • No eye adjustment issues.
  • Shared experience.
  • No risk of tripping over your room or becoming disoriented.
  • Simpler, reduced interaction.
  • Lower cost, more accessible.

This is not too far off from the "magic mirror" concept that was popular a few years back. And something that has this kind of spec and interaction would be an instant day-one purchase for me. I'd probably purchase several!

I have an inclination that, in the future, needing to use a handheld or wearable device with a screen as little as possible will be seen as a luxury. The screen necessitates structure and demands attention, luxury is being able to be unstructured and passive. Expect a complete inversion from how things are now.

I have felt this way for some time now, ever since I saw the "calm computing" demos at SXSW 2018. That's the main reason I have a few HomePods and an AppleTV hooked up to an old-school projector scattered throughout my domus.

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