After months of waiting, the Vision Pro is upon us. Apple’s mixed-reality headset — or “spatial computer” as the company calls it — went on sale on February 2, after preorders opened on Apple’s website on January 19.
If you want to be one of the first people to try the Vision Pro, there are a few things you’ll be able to do. Here’s everything you need to know about signing up to demo the headset for yourself.
Apple has never released a product like the Vision Pro, and the chances are most people have never tried on any of the best VR headsets or alternative mixed-reality headsets. With that in mind, Apple is understandably wanting to show customers exactly what the Vision Pro is capable of to convince them to part with its $3,499 asking price.
That’s why the company is letting anyone come to a local Apple Store and go through a demo of the headset for free. The in-person demonstrations of the headset opened up February 2 and are currently available to be booked. Depending on how busy your local Apple Store is, you may be able to just walk in and get a demo.
But to be safe, we’d recommend signing up on Apple’s website to reserve a demo. After clicking “Book a Demo” from the menu, you’ll just need to sign up with your Apple ID, answer a few questions about your glasses — and you’re good to go. You can only reserve a spot that’s up to a few days after the day of signing up, but there should be lots of time slots available, even into the evening.
It should be noted that you can do this without having to order a Vision Pro first. I’d recommend showing up to your appointment a few minutes early to make sure you get the full length of time of your appointment.
The in-store demoes are 30 minutes, most of which is a guided tour of how to control and navigate around the Vision Pro with an Apple Store employee.
The first few minutes will involve setting up the headset for you. Note: If you wear prescription glasses, they’ll need to take them to get the prescription and install the proper lenses for your eyes. You don’t need to know your prescription in order to get started.
After that, you’ll get the basics of how to use your eyes and hands to open up applications, select things from menus, and interact with virtual windows. This includes learning the hand gestures and the Digital Crown. The entirety of the demo is done seated. I requested a Dual Loop band, as the Solo Knit band that came standard immediately caused me discomfort.
As for the demo, you’ll start with the Photos app, to try out scrolling through images and viewing panoramic photos. You’ll even see some examples of spatial videos that were taken on the Vision Pro, which feel amazingly immersive.
From there, you’ll get to try out things like the Environments views — fading in from complete virtual reality to mixed reality — as well as typing in Safari. In the Apple TV+ app, the demo will include a trailer of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in a virtual movie theater, as well as a compilation of some 180-degree VR video.
If you have some time at the end, the Apple associate may allow you to play with some other available apps, such as playing a game or watching the Encounter Dinosaurs immersive video.
The demo doesn’t cover everything, but does give you a pretty good idea of how the Vision Pro feels to wear, how good the passthrough camera is, what navigating around the operating system feels like, what content is available.
The Vision Pro is a completely new piece of tech, and it really does need to be experienced to be understood. More than that, if you’re actually considering buying it, I would highly recommend trying it first to get a feel for the comfort and ergonomics of wearing the headset.
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