A month of the Vision Pro

This post is by Benedict Evans from Essays – Benedict Evans

Meta bought Oculus ten years ago this month, for $2bn. Oculus was selling a device that was amazing, and clearly part of the future, but also impractical and nowhere near ready for the mass market. Last month, Apple started selling a device that’s amazing, and clearly part of the future, but also expensive, impractical and clearly nowhere near ready for the mass market. And meanwhile, Meta has gone from the Oculus DK1 to Quest products that are good enough for a passionate base of enthusiasts but, again, clearly haven’t reached the mass market yet. We’re still at the beginning of the S-Curve.

I wrote a long essay about xR and the Vision Pro when it was announced last summer, and I won’t repeat all of that here (I won’t do a detailed hardware / software analysis either – you should read Hugo Barra’s excellent piece). It seems to me that Apple and Meta both think that something in this space can lead to a general and perhaps universal computing device that could be the next smartphone, but they’re trying to build that from opposite directions.

Meta started with games and VR, partly because of what was possible with the hardware of 2014, and it’s spent the last decade working its way upwards, trying to catalyse an ecosystem on the way. Apple thinks that you have to start with the general computing experience, which means iPad-style apps, and AR rather than VR (indeed, there really aren’t any VR experiences from (Read more…)