Former Oculus Chief Says Apple Vision Pro is Redefining VR Landscape

Former head of Oculus at Meta, Hugo Barra, has dissected the Apple Vision Pro in a lengthy article, heralding it as the new beacon for the VR and AR landscape.

Visionpro sensors

For those unfamiliar, Barra boasts an impressive background, having held prominent positions at Google and Xiaomi before spearheading Oculus at Facebook from 2017 to 2021.

His insightful critique dives deep into the design principles and technological intricacies of Apple’s latest venture into the VR landscape. Barra initiates his analysis by lauding the product’s seamless integration and its implications for end-users.

He coins the Apple Vision Pro as the “Northstar” for the entire AR and VR industry, emphasizing its unique feature of incorporating augmented reality within a virtual reality headset.

This fusion, Barra suggests, offers a level of immersion and interaction with the real world unparalleled by any other VR device. He highlights Apple’s exceptional engineering prowess, particularly in consolidating various technologies to create a cohesive user experience superior to existing offerings in the market.

Despite his praise, Barra doesn’t shy away from critiquing certain aspects of the Vision Pro. He echoes sentiments about its intended audience, seeing it primarily as a developer’s kit rather than a consumer-ready product.

This cautious approach results in what Barra describes as an “over-engineered” headset with an abundance of sensors. However, he acknowledges Apple’s strategic move to set a benchmark for future consumer-centric releases.

Palmer luckey oculus dk1

Barra commends Apple’s relentless pursuit of hardware excellence, attributing the high-resolution display to the maturity of micro-OLED technology and the advent of power-efficient chipsets like the M2.

He envisions a future ecosystem where VR headsets seamlessly tether to portable devices such as iPhones, hinting at Apple’s long-term strategy in the VR space.

Despite his admiration for Apple’s engineering prowess, Barra ultimately decides to return his Vision Pro headset, citing its hefty price tag exceeding $4000. As he isn’t actively involved in development, Barra finds it challenging to justify the investment.

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