What Happened: Earlier this week, during the annual Worldwide Developers Conference 2023, Apple revealed the highly anticipated Vision Pro mixed reality headset.
While the tech giant's first-generation AR/VR headset has received mostly positive reviews, its hefty price tag of $3,499 and its relatively heavyweight build made of sleek aluminum has led to many questions about it's worthwhile investment.
Gadget reviewer Joanna Stern from The Wall Street Journal had the opportunity to test Apple's Vision Pro and expressed her overall satisfaction with the device like most others.
However, in her video review, Stern highlighted her discomfort towards the end of the 30-minute demo, explicitly noting the weight on her nose and forehead.
A photo shared by Stern revealed visible red marks on her face, emphasizing the potential discomfort caused by extended usage.
Apple acknowledged the issue, attributing the discomfort to the limited-sized "light seals" in the demonstration space. These fabric-covered components help secure the headset to the user's face. Apple assured Stern that more options would be available when the Vision Pro is officially released early next year.
Why It's Important: Comfort has long been a concern for VR and AR headset manufacturers as they strive to strike a balance by incorporating advanced technology and ensuring a comfortable fit.
Previous headset iterations, such as the Oculus Rift, have faced similar criticisms of leaving red marks on the wearer's face. This is primarily why headsets, including Meta Quest 3, are made from lightweight plastics. VR headsets in general have this issue of leaving rashes and sweat on users face, it would be interesting to see how Apple prepares to tackle the biggest cosmetic challenge with its headset.
Apple constructed the Vision Pro with an aluminum alloy frame and a single piece of exterior glass to address this challenge, providing a sleek and premium appearance. However, these materials contribute to the overall weight of the device.