THE BASIS POINT

Will Apple Vision Pro make AR headset wearers less punchable?

 
 

It’s been 9 years since a Google Glass wearer was allegedly punched at Molotov’s bar on Lower Haight in San Francisco. Always-connected culture is more accepted now, but Augmented Reality (AR) coolness is still elusive. Enter Apple Vision Pro, which they call Spatial Computing, not AR. It’s not just for gamers or glassholes who should stick to Marina bars. And Apple Vision Pro looks pretty sweet for personal and work computing.

The Apple Vision Pro site and video walks through ‘Spatial Experiences’ (watching movies and daily computing, not just gaming) and Spatial Audio (kick ass surround sound but also so you can hear stuff in the room you’re in).

But the question remains: when your roommate or sibling or coworker walks into your space and sees you wearing Apple Vision, do they want to punch you or swipe your new gear?

The answer lies in what you use this spatial computing gear for.

Spatial issues involving a fist in the face of a social promoter at Molotov’s back in 2014 was about people who didn’t want to be recorded. A few key notes here:

First, what else should some Big Tech promoter expect from a Lower Haight bar called Molotov’s?

Second, that 2014 incident not only mainstreamed glassholes as the name privacy lovers call people who record public interactions, it also led to Google discontinuing Glass (for consumers) by 2015.

Third, there’s a big difference between glasses mainly designed to record private moments and spatial computing gear.

Meta’s Ray-Ban Story glasses are the latest privacy violator.

Meta mentions ‘salient risks’ Ray-Ban Stories pose in their Human Rights Report (page 64), and here’s how they propose protecting (lol) your privacy and safety. Note you are the ‘bystander’ in this ridiculous language:

To mitigate these issues, the due diligence recommended exploring several courses of action in consideration of bystanders, such as: developing an acceptable use policy, a do-not-disturb function, other signals for bystanders or the option to tag content as being from the device when it is shared.

The key phrases there are ‘recommended exploring’ and ‘developing a policy’ which means they won’t do sh!t about your privacy.

So keep your guard up when hanging with anyone wearing Ray-Bans.

All that said, here’s why Apple Vision Pro looks killer.

It’s not about recording the world outside.

It’s about creating a movie theater or crazy multi-monitor computing experiences in the smallest of spaces.

This is why their Spatial Computing message lands with me.

And of course the design is beautiful, like a cool pair of ski goggles.

Apple’s rarely first to big trends, but they make big trends work for the masses.

Whether the masses can afford $3500 is an open question for later.

For now, let’s ask today’s main question again: If you’re wearing Apple Vision, do people want to punch you or swipe your new gear?

The answer: Guard this gear because anyone who can get their hands on it will want it.

As for privacy, here’s what Apple says:

When it comes to privacy, we don’t blink. Privacy and security built in. Like every Apple product and service, Vision Pro was designed to help protect your privacy and keep you in control of your data. It builds on the foundation of existing Apple privacy and security features with new technologies like Optic ID, a secure authentication system that uses the uniqueness of your iris.

This section of Apple Vision Pro site doesn’t address recording of others.

It also doesn’t warn against wearing futuristic ski goggles on Lower Haight.

But I don’t recommend it.

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Reference:

Apple Vision Pro site

Apple Vision Pro video

Woman Claims Attack At Molotov’s Over Google Glass

Google discontinued Glass for consumers in 2015 and enterprise in 2023

Cameras are very subtle on Meta’s Ray Ban stories

 

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