Pragmatic 111: Virtually Augmented

14 July, 2023

CURRENT

Vic joins John to look at the history of Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality as we pre-assess the pros and cons of AR and VR and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.

Transcript available
Welcome to Pragmatic. (upbeat piano music) Pragmatic is a show about technology and contemplating the finer details and their practical application. By exploring the real world trade-offs, we dive into how great ideas can be transformed into products and services that impact our lives. Pragmatic is entirely supported by you, listeners. If you'd like to support us and keep this show ad-free, you can by becoming a Premium Supporter. Premium Supporter is available via Patreon and through the Apple Podcasts channel subscription. Premium Supporters have access to early release, high-quality versions of episodes, as well as bonus materials from all of our shows not available anywhere else. Just visit www.engineer.network/pragmatic to learn how you can help this show to continue to be made. Thank you. I'm your host, John Chidjie, and today I'm once again joined by my good friend, Vic Hudson. How you doing, Vic? I'm good, John, man. How are you? I am doing fantastic. It's been a while since we caught up, and I'm really grateful you could come on the show again to talk about- talk about a topic. I'm not going to mention what it is yet, but thank you for coming back on the show. I appreciate you being here. Always a pleasure, man. Thanks for having me. Well, good. And before I get stuck into the main topic for this episode, a couple of little- little points just before we get stuck in. So, just refresh my memory. Have you a pair of AirPods Pro? The first generation, yes. Yes. So, I too was once an owner of a first generation of AirPods Pro. And it- Well, yeah, I know. You can get a vibe of where this is going, right? So- You were once an owner. I was once. So, here's the thing. So, I have a soft spot for my kids and even when my kids do really stupid things like put their AirPods Pro that they bought out of their birthday money through the washing machine and determined that they are in fact not- They're not- They don't- That's not how you clean them. It's not a viable choice. What I'm hearing is one of your kids has your AirPods Pro. Yes excellent powers of deduction that is exactly what has happened. Hey I'm a parent too I knew where it was going as soon as you said one of the kids and wash machine. Yeah that's it that's it that's it's never going to end well so in any case whilst the old AirPods of his are much cleaner they are also much deader and as a result he now has my old one so I invested in a new pair AirPods Pro second gen. And I have to say, I've been using them now for a few days, probably only about four days now. And they're nice. I mean, I find them- - Pretty good upgrade. - I think if I didn't have a good reason to upgrade, I think it was fair not to upgrade. And I, you know, rumours sites keep saying, oh, there's another one coming out sure in the next six to 12 months, there'll be a third gen. And it's like, yeah, well, you can say that about any computer product, any technology product more or less, But the noise cancelling is better than the old ones. It's hard to put your finger on it, but when you've been using them for years, you can tell the difference. It just sounds cleaner. I don't know how else to describe it. Cleaner and clearer. Yeah. So, yeah. What about that slight sense of pressure in your ears? Do you ever notice that? I never really had too much of that, to be honest. I find that the ear tips themselves don't- The ear tips themselves, in these ones, I just use the default ones, the medium size, but they have an additional size on this one as well. So, more than just a small, medium and a large. But I've, in any case, to be honest, it's very subtle. I find it pretty subtle too. Like, I notice it, but it's not enough to bother me. I do know it gives a lot of people real problems though, but by circumstance, I find myself using transparency mode more than anything. Oh, yes. I yeah, absolutely. And this one has the whole, you know, adaptive transparency thing, which is supposed to- That would be pretty nice. Yeah. I mean, I've tried a few times, like in a city street, and it kind of works, but I really needed someone to try and speak to me. And on the street corner, generally, that's something people don't do. They just kind of keep to themselves, which I am fine with. So, in any case, the other The other thing I like about it is that it's got the integrated speaker and the Find My. So, you can basically find the case as well as the individual AirPods. And when you put it on charger, it very politely goes ding with a charging noise like an Apple Watch. That's cool. So, yeah. So, as previously it was just a little light. You've also got nifty little volume slider by running your finger up and down the stem. Yeah. Yeah, you do. And I've tried it and it's a bit, I don't know. It's like when you run your finger, you have to slide it up or slide it down. And it works on either side, of course, but it only takes up like one notch. So, if you want to go up quite a bit, you got to go and swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe. Yeah. And I'm like, it's a bit janky. I don't really like that, actually. So, I think you'd do it in a pinch, but you wouldn't- Yeah. If you got to make massive volume changes, it's not fit for purpose. Just grab your phone or your watch. Yeah. Yeah, I would. I would. But in any case, yeah, so I just mentioned that. The other thing that is now I'm not sure if you have because I'm podcasting right now using my AirPods Max and I've been using these as my podcasting headphones for probably over two years now, two and a half nearly. Yeah. I got- Yeah. You don't have any AirPods Max? I do not. You do not. Okay. But are you familiar with the detachable earcups, like the magnetically detachable earcups on them? Yeah, I do remember seeing that from all the PR and stuff. Yeah. So, I have a problem. Well, I mean, I have many problems, but this particular problem has to do with the lack of air conditioning in my house. So, where we live, where I live in Brisbane, in Australia, it's sub-temperate climate. So, it's not- It's not- It's not tropical, it's not temperate, it's sort of mixed in between. And so, it's not cold enough in the winter, though it's quite cold right now in the grand scheme of things, but not cold enough to warrant central heating. And it gets warm enough in the summer where a lot of places, they say, oh, yeah, you really need air conditioning. Truth is, you can live without air conditioning. You know, fans are a thing. They blow air. It kind of works, evaporation and all that. So, problem with the AirPods Max and any headphones, frankly, is especially the more absorbent ones, is that when you sweat, it really, really does soak up that sweat. And then after about three months of summer, and then you do that for two summers in a row, those ear cups become quite fragrant. And so... Yeah, not in a good way. That sounds kind of gross, man. Yeah, well, that's because it is. And yeah, anyway, so those I've washed them out several times and just by hand, just with, you know, warm soapy water, nothing particularly, I thought, abrasive or what have you. But in any case, I noticed about a month ago that there's a- There's like a rubber seal that holds the fabric into the hardened plastic section on the back of them. It's kind of hard to describe it, but it goes like a ring around the outside of it and it holds the cloth in. It's kind of like, I guess it's like the equivalent of stitching, but it's done with a rubber seal and that seal had started to basically peel off. And then the actual fabric has started to now peel away and you can actually see the foam, the memory foam inside. Yeah. Around the outside of it. So, I don't know if it's because I washed them only like did like two or three times and or whether it's just age. If you've been using them for a couple of years and you give them pretty heavy use, I'd say they're probably just some normal wear going on. The washing might have accelerated it, but yeah, sounds pretty normal. Yeah. So, I did the crazy thing and I don't know, I bought some replacement ones because you can actually buy the replacement ones. And just because I could, I bought them in a different color. So I've got the blue one, the blue headphones and originally had blue ear cups. So you stuck with the official Apple ones? You didn't try like any experimental third party? Nah, I stuck with the genuine Apple ones. I figured I was ordering AirPods. I may as well get some replacement ear cups at the same time. So I got silver ones. They fit perfectly. And to be honest, they seal better because I guess they're newer. And they also have the benefit of not smelling funky. So that's good too. I have a fresh manufactured smell to them, you know, not quite a new car smell, but a new Apple ear cup smell, which I can't imagine many people know. Might I suggest just like maybe a ring of anti-perspirant around your ear before podcasting? In the summertime, yes. So, yeah, I think that, yeah, that may end up becoming a more self-solving problem, which I'll talk about the podcasting booth one day, but probably not today but in any case there are plans afoot to address this issue or at least one of the use cases anyhow. Noted. So there you go. Yes. I should probably, I mean those, I haven't even thought about whether or not they'd be covered by any kind of warranty but I could always just try my luck. But I'm pretty sure Apple would tell me where to go. They're not the same company they were. Did you get the AppleCare on them? No, of course not. But you never know. Give them a good sob story. Mind you, that was back in the Steve Jobs days, they would probably be more forgiving. Yeah. The Tim Cook days are more like, no. The bean counters have a little more influence these days. Yeah. Yeah. The bean counters are in control. They are counting them beans. Anyhow, never mind. Our accountant once said, we count the beans so that you don't have to. And I'm like, OK. Anyway, I've got to be careful with that. And we feel all the much better for you. My wife's an accountant, so I've got to be careful with that one. Yeah, you should be very careful with that. Yeah, I should. Just back away. Back away. All right, moving on. OK, so that was just a little bit of the little topical things to mention anyhow. That's cool. OK, main topic for this episode. And before I go into this, I have to ask you a question. Did you watch the WWDC keynote? I did. And was there any particular item that was announced towards the latter half that was a bit was long rumored and of any interest or just curious? Are we really going to do a whole show about that stupid new Mac Pro? Oh, that's funny. No, no, we are not. OK, I guess maybe second up would be we're going to talk about that. that little one more thing announcement. Well, hang on a second. Yeah. Hang on a second. You know what? You just mentioned the Mac Pro, so I'm just going to say it. Okay. Oh, boy. Here we go. I don't know. Yeah, you- I know you were joking, but this is serious. Okay. Tell us how you really feel, Josh. How I feel is how a lot of Mac Pro fans past, past, mostly past now, I was going to say present is a very dwindling number. We all feel slightly aggrieved by what has been done to the Mac Pro. I feel like- Yeah. I feel like it is- Were it alive, it would be screaming and drowning. Yeah. And we would try to rescue it if Apple would let us, but they will not. We are forced to look from the shore as it sinks below the surface. Yeah. Unfortunately. I've been listening to Syracuse rake it over the coals for weeks now. Well, well, John Syracuse has his concerns, of course, but, you know, both he and I have owned multiple Mac Pros, although different ones in recent times. So, I've had the trash can 2013, as you well know, and, you know, still waiting for me to ship it to you for seasoning, but too late, I sold it. So, I can't- I know. Oh, well. I was very disappointed, man. I was going to make that thing look so pretty for you. Yes, I know you were, but here's the thing, right? That was a fantastic machine. I mean, everyone heaped all sorts of rubbish on it, but I loved that machine. It was great. And the only machine I love more is my current one, which is the Mac Studio. But never mind that. I also had a Halem- Quad-Core Halem Mac Pro in 2009 model, the cheese greatest style. Now, I didn't invest in a 2019 because, well, first of all, I wanted to stay married. And second of all, my kids needed a car, which is how much the damn thing costs. So, hard pass on that one. Well, if you're a careful shopper, you could get the card cheaper. Well, yes, but you can't get a Mac- 2019 Mac Pro any cheaper. It's- That's not going to happen. That's what I mean, man. You could get the card cheaper than that Mac Pro was. Well, that is exactly right. So, anyway. So, I looked at that and I'm like, yeah, no. So, my problem with what they've done with the Apple Silicon on the Mac Pro, very simply, is that there are all the cards in it that you could put in it. You can actually get an external interface over Thunderbolt. And if not Thunderbolt, USB-C. So, it's like, what is the purpose of the Mac Pro at this point? Well, they've basically made a trash can in an empty- in a big empty tower. No, but it's worse than a trash can, because at least on my trash can, I could upgrade the memory. I could upgrade the SSD. True. I could upgrade the CPU. If I was really game, you could do it. But in this thing, you can't upgrade the CPU. You get no extra RAM, you get no extra CPU. And admittedly, and you can't put a bigger GPU in there. Yeah. You can't do any of that. It's not possible. So what is it? What is the point? It has no reason to be anymore. And that is the Steve Jobs quote. There's just not much incentive at all to spend the extra money on it versus just a spec'd out Mac studio. No, there's no performance benefit of any measure at all. All you get to do is put spitting rust in there, which only crazy people do these days. If you've got a NAS, like a Synology or a QNAP or some- or a homebrewed, you know, network attached storage, that's where you put your spinning rust and you put them in a raid array and, you know, and still not a backup and blah, blah, blah. But never mind that. Point is, you don't put that in a, you know, $10,000 tower. That's just not the way you do it, because that is massive amount of money. Like a Synology, a 4-base Synology is 600 US, You know, not even. Why would you spend seven, eight, nine thousand dollars after you buy all the adapter modules to put in the Mac Pro and the Mac Pro with the wheels or not the wheels, whatever? I mean, it's insane. People are not going to do that. Oh, you could put- And... Don't forget you could put in sound cards and video capture cards, man. Yeah, but you know, you could do that, but you can also just... Twitch streamers of the world rejoice. So, I've got a USB... So, yeah, I know, right. I've got an- well, I've got, my son bought an Elgato, you know, HD capture, USB capture device, you know, for streaming. And I bet it works fantastically with the Mac Studio. It works really well with every Mac that I've had for the last five, six years. Yeah. Used it on all of them from time to time. So, it's how I made the Zelda Breath of the Wild videos way back when and put on YouTube. Yeah. So, it's like solutions to all these problems exist. Even fibre channel. I said, oh, but what about fibre channel? You can get fibre channel, you know, via a Thunderbolt adapter. So, it's like- Are you playing the new Zelda game? I am, yeah. I am playing Tears of the Kingdom. I am got a long way to go and I'm not really playing it as often as I would like. But yeah, I am. I am playing it. I'm working on it, chipping away at it. It's a- That's cool. It's an enormous game. It's just next level. Yeah. Wow. That's cool. I've actually been getting back into gaming myself lately. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So what are you playing? I bet you not. I bought me a PlayStation 5 because The Last of Us on HBO really made me want to play that game. So I have a proper game system in the house for the first time in like 20 something years, I think. I played- The game is very different from the TV series. Not a lot. Well, the spores and everything, like the whole- Well, there are some significant differences, but the beats of the story, man, they captured pretty well. Yeah, okay, fair enough. Anyway, that's fine. But yeah, I played both of those. I had some fun with a Spider-Man game. Right now I'm playing a game called Horizon Zero Dawn, which is kind of in a dystopian future. It's a very big, expansive open world RPG kind of game. It's a lot of fun. I'm having a lot of fun with it. Cool. Good times. Yeah, no, I- Yeah, good times. Yeah, no, I- Yeah, I will at some point I mean, assuming that I don't die first, I'm going to assume that I'm going to finish Tears of the Kingdom at some point in the future. So, yeah, basically, whatever that point is, six months, twelve months down the road, whatever. I'm sure I'll talk more about it. But for now, it's a very, very slow moving, gradual, slice by slice thing that I do as I get a few spare moments, which is not a lot. That's cool. Anyway, as long as you have fun with it when you do play, man, that's what matters. It's a good distraction, put it that way. Yeah. All right. So, back on topic, just quickly rounding out about the whole Mac Pro thing. I genuinely believe that that will be the last Mac Pro that ever sells in any volume and therefore very likely will be the last Mac Pro. It's just, you know, Apple have no interest in doing external GPU support. they've made that abundantly clear, their entire design direction with Apple Silicon suggested from the first moment the M1 came out. And the smart people that saw that looked at it and said, yeah, we're done with external GPUs, we're done with discrete GPUs, that's it. It'll be on the die or it will not be in the Apple product. It's that simple. They're done with Intel, they're done with Nvidia, they're done with AMD, they're done with all of it. They're just gonna do it themselves. know and power tool but you know just stop pretending that Mac Pro will ever be anything else. Yeah well it does come with the benefit that none of those other companies can hold them back anymore. Not that the graphics adapter people really held them back in the in the past mainly that was Intel with the processors but yeah it does come. Oh totally. It does come with some consequence for some of their fans and some of their users. I guess their opinion is you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. But it is kind of sad. Like I never was in the market for a Mac Pro. I was never the audience for that. But it does make me kind of sad to see, you know, that just the disregard for that audience and those fans. I mean those have been... they're a minority of Mac users, but they're a big spending minority of Mac users. And I felt like they could have used a little more loyalty in return for that. But it is what it is, man. Well, I mean, I don't disagree with that, that they are a vocal and a minority that are quite- that are, well, by virtue of the cost of the unit have to be cashed up in order to buy one. Yeah. But the reality is that, unfortunately, you know, Apple do not care enough about that group. So, I feel like the Mac Pro that they released with the Apple Silicon in it is simply going to be- Yeah. Like, this is the best we got for now. maybe they put a better processor in it in the future, but it will never go back to what it was. I will pose one question though, like with the direction that the Apple silicon's headed and stuff, I do honestly see a future like maybe this is more of a kind of like a when they redid Final Cut Pro situation, you know, like this particular model is not very interesting and really leaves a lot of people out without a Mac that they feel is truly built for them anymore. But I do think the way they're advancing with the Apple Silicon, I could see a day when, you know, a Mac Pro with the Apple Silicon in it would be just as good as if you could cram a bunch of, you know, video cards and stuff into it. I don't doubt that that is a possible outcome, that it will be good enough for certain things. But I think the problem is that Apple is not a gaming company and- Yeah. And- Well, that's been a problem for a long time. Yeah. And I don't mean that in a disparaging way. I'm simply saying that, you know, if you look for the outcome, the outcome is driven by the incentivization and the direction that is set at a management level. And the management level says gaming is not a priority. It has never been a priority at Apple from the beginning at all. It's just not a market they care about. No. Now you look at NVIDIA and you look at AMD, that is definitely a market that they are interested in. They are absolutely- That is what they are about. And they are about enabling things like- And they can be repurposed. That's their bread and butter, man. Yeah. And yeah, you look at machine learning stuff and so on. A lot of the drivers that drive NVIDIA and AMD, They are going to push those limits constantly. And those cards are going to get bigger. They're going to get much more powerful. And the rate at which they do it will always exceed Apple's ability to catch up, not because Apple's ability, that's the wrong word, Apple's desire to keep pace. They have no interest in keeping pace. Well, it's also a question of bandwidth. I mean, you're not wrong at all in that. But even if they had the desire to keep pace, you know, AMD and stuff, you know, their jam is the GPU. Yeah. That's their focus. That's all they're concerned with. That's 100% what they do. Totally. Apple's always, you know, they're working on a full system on a chip, you know, so they just don't have the resources to devote just to the GPUs like that. Yeah. And I would suggest that perhaps they could easily have the resources to do that if they wanted to, but they don't want to. And so they just won't. Yeah. So I look at it as being if you took a snapshot today of the best NVIDIA card, the Apple Silicon equivalent will probably catch up to that in another three or four years. That's it. And by which time NVIDIA will be another four years ahead of Apple. You know, so it's like, well, and this is what the gamers are so upset about. Because they're not going to just stop and wait on Apple to catch up. No, no, obviously not. I mean, I wouldn't. And this is why the gamers are so upset, because they realise the penny drops. Like, okay, I can't put my own graphics card in there. I can't run- Well, I was going to say, I can't run Windows. Actually, you can, because I've actually been running Parallels and Windows 11 ARM. So, I bought a Windows licence for work purposes. And I can tell you that with all the different virtualisation and Rosetta ring and so on that they're doing between Microsoft and Apple. It actually will run applications that were written for Windows and like there's no that that were never, ever rewritten for ARM and they work. That's cool. I would not have believed it. And I looked through the all the you know, I read up on a whole bunch of the articles about how they're doing it. And it's just like, wow, OK, it actually works. It's crazy. So that's pretty cool. - Yeah, so there are these games that were written. My wife likes to play them as well. Like Big Fish games, Sandlot games, whatever. Anyway, they're like 10, 15 year old games, right? They're just, anyway, I'm not a big fan to them, but she loves them. And so I've tested on those and it works on them as well. - That's cool. - And these games have never known an ARM architecture and it works, so it's crazy. Anyway, all right, so there you go. That's my Mac Pro. - That's really cool. That's my Mac Pro digression and I basically blame you Vic for bringing that up but that's fine. It's all good really. I apologize. My work here is done. I've derailed the show. Oh no there's more derailing. There's more derailing to come don't worry I'm sure there is. Just wait till we get to my definition of augmented reality. Ah but there's just one more thing Lieutenant. One more thing. And that is, of course, that is, of course, the Apple Vision Pro. And I, when I watched the WWDC keynote, I was quite frankly blown away by the Apple Vision Pro, except for a whole bunch of little caveats that turns out, you know, not so little caveats, big caveats, in fact, but don't want to jump to the end. So, because this is pragmatic and this is just the way I roll, I wanted to start off with a couple of definitions and talk about like the history, a little bit of the history, not all of the history of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality. I don't want to like, cause the entire history of every single device that's been made, seriously, the show would go for 10 hours and I'm not making a 10 hour show about the every single device ever made. They have pros and cons, blah, blah, blah. No. I just want to touch on some of the key players and I have good reasons why, and I'll get to that. But I want to start with the definition. Okay. Got to start there. All right. In the beginning, there was no augmented reality. There was no mixed reality. The original devices were, in air quotes, virtual reality. Although they didn't initially get called that, they did eventually in the 90s be referred to as virtual reality. So, we'll start with what is augmented reality first and then work up to virtual reality. So, augmented reality. My definition that I sort of- There was no one website that had this definition, so it's sort of been cobbled together from multiple different people's definitions of it. And hopefully this makes some kind of sense. A view of the physical or real world with an overlay over the top of digital elements. How does that fit? That sounds kosher to me. Yeah. Okay. All right. So, that's augmented reality. In other words, and the way I like to think of it is augmented reality is real world first and then you overlay digital over the top. Okay. Okay. So, that's augmented reality. Okay. Sounds good. Mixed reality. And this is the one where everyone argues. I think a lot of people argue about it. So, this one is hard to nail down, but the best I can sort of amalgamate is it's a blend of the physical or real world with digital or virtual elements. where the physical and digital elements can interact. So, one of those examples would be, you know, if you put a, like a three-dimensional virtual car sit on your coffee table, then that could interact with the coffee table. So, if something moves on the coffee table, then the virtual car might move as it was hit by that other object. Like let's say you slide a tissue box up to the front of this virtual car, then it would interact with that reality. So it's not an overlay on top, it's actually objects that interact with that- with the physical world, even though they're virtual. I know that's a tougher sell, but does that sort of align with your- Yeah, that sounds good. Yeah. Yeah. The thing that I don't like Is that to me that's a very subtle distinction that really doesn't add a hell of a lot of value. Yeah. And I know that there are people out there that feel very strong and all that's definitely am I that's definitely I are it's like you know what virtual reality. I think that. To me. I think that the fact that the digital elements. Interact and respond to the environment might seem like a subtle distinction but I think it's a pretty good one. Sure I mean I'm not saying okay yeah it is a it is a distinction and that is the difference between them but what I what I'm guess I'm saying is that in order to achieve augmented reality you have to achieve all the same technical feats for that you do for mixed reality. So in other words it's really only a software interaction dilemma it's not a it's not a it's not a hardware. Or an ecosystem like dilemma it's like once you solve one you've solved both. Yeah. It's just the way you write the software so to me it's less of a big deal in my opinion but mixed reality. I treat it as being well still the physical world still is first so when you design the product physical world is more important you're just adding. Virtual objects to interact with it so kind of similar in that regard. Anyway, virtual reality is the- Yeah, has been around for the longest time and the whole idea is well, it's not attempting to give you a view of the real world. It is completely virtual. It is fully immersive as a completely fully immersive digital environment. Now, it does not have to be like you can overlay over the virtual world and do weird things like it's your room, But the room you've just- The virtual reality has- You changed the wall colour from grey to pink, you know. So, technically it's not augmented reality. It's technically it's virtual at that point, because you're now fully immersed in something that is not exactly real anymore. There's no truly live, genuine pass through of what you see. So, in any way, in any case. So, virtual reality for me has been- That was where they went to in the beginning. And it's fascinating, so your virtual world is first and your external world is just completely gone. No interest in it or very little. All right. Okay, so far. Yeah. I have a question. Yeah, go for it. All right. So when my wife gets fed up with my shenanigans and just maybe hits me in the head with one of my cast iron skillets and I see stars and little birdies flying around my head, aka Tom and Jerry. Which category does that fall in? Which of those three categories does that fall in? I'm going to put that under reality, reality. OK. And assault. In which case you would say, ow. Anyhow. Want to say more than ow. Goodness gracious, that hurt. Please do not do that. Yeah. Words to that effect. Yeah, something just like that. Okay, see, there you go. There you go. Okay. All right. All right, excuse me. So, one of the other things, there's two other little things that I want to talk about, because I get horrifically motion sick and I do, I've made- I've talked about this many times before. It's not a new thing. And for the longest time, I did not dive into the specifics. I figured it was just lag. Now, lag, of course, makes sense. So, if you're being shown a virtual environment, you can't see anything else. It's a virtual environment. If I turn my head left, right, up, down, or I move, that environment needs to move in synchronicity with my own body's movements. And if it doesn't, and there's too much lag between I make a movement and then the virtual reality environment reacts to that, if that lag is too great, then that is exactly the same thing that triggers motion sickness when I'm on a boat, let's say, you know, or a tilting train or an aeroplane that's going through a lot of turbulence, is that connection between my head and movement and what my eyes perceive and see and what my- That sensor in my head, that sack of fluid in your head that I've forgotten the name of, it's on my head. you know, it doesn't all align, which creates disorientation and leads to motion sickness. Some people are more hypersensitive to it than others, but there's more to it. And the two things that I've come across, of course, the first one is the obvious one, which is the way our eyes focus. But the way that they focus, it's not obvious. And they've come up with this terminology for it, which I have heard bandied around, you know, over the last year or two, as I've been mucking around more with virtual reality headsets, which we'll talk a bit about my son's headset in a minute. It's a thing called VAC or a Virgin's Accommodation Conflict. And so, for the longest time, I just took it as read. Yep. Virgin's Accommodation Conflict. Oh, yeah, that's it, baby. Got it. I never dug into exactly the specifics of what all of these things mean. They are, of course, you know, like terminology regarding the human eye. So, accommodation, which is something other than the buildings that we live in, which is technically also accommodation, but you know, not this kind of accommodation. So, accommodation in the sense of the human eye or an eye is the ability of an eye to change focus, to view distant objects or close up objects. It's pretty simple. It's the way that the muscles, cilia and different parts of the eyeball flex and bend in order to change the focal point so that our eyes can actually focus on objects at different distances. So, that is accommodation. Yeah. Simple enough. Just a weird name for it. I mean, because like it's not a house, okay. A house accommodation, whatever. Okay. They had their reasons. It's probably derived from Latin. I don't know. Vergence. Now, vergence makes perfect sense. Actually, I'm pretty sure vergence is derived from Latin. Vergence is the- Because we have, you know, binocular vision. So, we've got two eyes, you know, and always thought more eyes would be better, but maybe not. But two's plenty. When you have two eyes, it's obvious when you think about it, but we don't realise that we do it. Our eyes have to actually tilt, like twist slightly inwards in order to actually focus on an object. And when they do that, the brain then stitches those two together to create a single image of that object. So, that's vergence, that's the ability of our eyes to merge those two separate images by- by subtly moving the eyes slightly inwards towards each other laterally to focus on an object. So, that's- so far so good, right? Yes. That's vergence. Yep. More commonly referred to with divergence where those two images diverge, but vergence is where they align and overlap. Okay, so, vergence accommodation conflict is obviously therefore a conflict between these two things, because when you have a bunch of screens that are right in front of your eyes, they may only be an inch from your eyeball. They could be very close, but they're projecting an image of something that appears to be about three feet or a metre maybe in front of you in virtual terms, but the screen's an inch from your eyeball. Right. So, if your eyes are trying to focus on this object, but it's not physically three feet in front of you, it's an inch in front of your eyeball. So, that then confuses our brain because they're like, oh, hang on a minute, I should be turning my eyes inwards more slightly to focus on that because it's further away than it really is. And yet it's not. Right. So, unfortunately, that then creates- eye strain. And it is also one of the reasons that people get motion sickness or it presents as motion sickness. Or a splitting headache. Yeah. So, that is virgins accommodation conflict. It is a thing. It is a problem. The other one is- - it's also obvious when you think about it, but everyone's head is different. Some people have small heads and some people, like me, have a great big head. So, that when I went to, for example, when I went on the go-karts years ago, years ago, they said, all right, these are all the different helmet sizes. And there were two on the far end of the rack and all of the other ones, they would not go over my head. And I had to go to the biggest sized helmet that they make in order to get over my fat head. And for the record, I realize that around the scalp there are very little- there's very little fat tissue. So, yeah, I know it's not fat as in- It's- I have a big head. So, the problem is- It's big. Problem is that I- Totally, 100%. That's what it is. It's technically and figuratively. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Okay. So, this just means that my eyes are going to be a different distance apart. And of course, it also has to do with the shape of the skull and you know, your nose in the middle and blah, blah, blah. So even having a big head or a small head, you will still have variability even irrespective of the size of your overall circumference of your head, your eyes will be different distances apart. And so the problem is that when you are going to create any kind of virtual reality headset or augmented reality headset, you need to ensure that the interpupillary distance is adjusted to suit otherwise you're going to give people a headache good headsets you know you can adjust them with motors some of the cheaper ones you just do it manually and you just align them yourself all right so I just wanted to make sure that IPD was something else that was was discussed there's a few other little terminologies we'll get to those I want to get to that before we started okay all right so far so good yes yeah yeah all right okay I want to bound this a little bit I want to I want to bound it because of the list being so damn long. There are so many headsets, believe me. Oh my God. I was researching this episode. I just did not realize how many headsets have come and gone over the years. And there's lots of them that were announced, that were shown to people and they never actually made it to mass production. Some of them didn't make it to any production. There are any of a prototype. So, I'm like, well, don't tell me that has history because I-. So, first of all, it needed to be something that you could have bought at one point. Okay. So, if it was not something you could buy, didn't exist as far as I'm concerned. So, that's great. Hey, we had this thing. No. You didn't sell it, didn't exist. Sorry. It has to allow the wearer or the user to interact with the content displayed on the screens. So, it can't just be a couple of TV strapped to your face and say, hey, I'm wearing TV on my face. No, you don't interact with that. That's not the same thing. No, no, no. That's not virtual reality. That's not augmented reality. That's just a TV on your face. So that's great. Facial TVs. That's great. You can enjoy those. They don't count. Okay. Now it must be specifically designed with the purpose of VR, MR or AR applications. Okay. If it's not obvious, it has to be a head mounted system. So believe it or not there are some of these histories of virtual reality talk about ones that were desk mounted. So you put your face on these things and they're sitting on a desk. I'm like that doesn't sound comfortable for one thing but for another thing. So you're leaning over staring into a little box like Mr Spock. Matter of speaking yeah it's not really what I want to talk about that is not no. Okay. Anyway, so the other thing about being specifically designed for VR applications, I'm going to exclude Google Cardboard as an example. Did you come across Google Cardboard at all? I remember hearing about it. Yeah. So, just for those- This was the thing where you could like fold up a piece of cardboard to wedge your phone into. Yeah, exactly. Yes. So, yeah, that's exactly right. And they gave you a couple little lenses that you slipped in there, and you would slide your phone in. and had a little strap around the back, super cheap, super simple. The whole idea was, you can use a smartphone, you can use one. Initially Google just had an app for Android, but then of course they also released ones for the iPhone. Sold relatively okay. It was of course not ideal because that's not what the phones are designed to do. So there were all sorts of different issues with it. They were glitchy. People generally thought they were a bit rubbish. The light shield on them was terrible. Well, there was no real decent light shield, they were problematic for people that wore glasses. There were all sorts of problems. And I think if I remember correctly, Google stopped selling them in like 2018, 2019, something like that. Like maybe it was even earlier than that. But yeah, they have not been a sold product for a while. You know, like three or four iterations of them. And they even had a little thing you can make your own. But, you know, it was an interesting concept. But I'm not going to count that because that does- sliding a smartphone into a cardboard box with a couple lenses on it does not a VR headset make. No. Because it does not have all of- it is not specifically designed for VR/IR applications. Yeah. And it sounds like a great way to experience all those problems you just discussed. Yeah, exactly. And then the other bound I want to put on this for the minute is has to be colour. So, don't tell me that we had this amazing virtual reality headset, but it was in black and white monochrome. It was in greyscale. It was, you know, like, I don't know. If it's not colour, it's not very real. Yeah. So, no. All right. So, I know that that's going to cut a lot out, but it's not- Believing there's still plenty more. All right, let's start at the beginning. The iPhone. No, not the iPhone, but the iPhone, as in like I-E-Y-E, as in my eyes, your eyes, everyone's eyes. iPhone. So, that was actually released in 1989 and all the parts required to run it, that included the head unit, of course. There was an external computer, a special computer and the gloves. And these gloves were like super cool. They had- I mean, they looked really uncomfortable and they also looked like they were some kind of archaic torture device. But, you know, they had fibre optics that ran to each of the fingers and they used the flexing and the transmissibility and the fibre optics to sense finger positions. So, very cool. Very, very cutting edge at the time. That whole lot to have a functioning thing that could give you six frames per second. That's right. Six frames per second. Frames per second. It- Coming up a little short there by today's standards. Yeah, by modern standards, not so great. 320 by 240 pixels per eye. That's also not high res. It weighed five and a half pounds, that's two and a half kilograms for the headset. Okay. It cost a quarter of a million US dollars. That's pricey. So, that's not something that your average Joe down the street is going to be getting a credit card out for. So, that's a hell of a lot of money. Unsurprisingly, they didn't really sell many, but you could buy it. It was a product made by a company called VPL Research, and it was the first that was actually able to be bought. All right. Now, I haven't got too much more to say about it because those things were damn heavy. They didn't sell well. Funny that. Imagine. That price tag. Imagine. I cannot imagine why they didn't sell well. I know. Imagine that. So, I just want to mention it. It was the first true virtual reality headset. It was terrible. It makes that $3,500 price tag on the Vision Pro sound not so bad. It does, doesn't it? Well, we'll get to that. OK. Okay. Now, I am specifically going to skip the Nintendo Virtual Boy in the mid-nineties, because there were a whole bunch of interesting legislative reasons that were related to concerns that people had about having head units strapped to people's heads for long periods of time. So, they turned it into a desk mounted headset. I mentioned this one before. And it didn't- It used this effect, the parallax effect through using a series of oscillating mirrors in order to create the 3D effect. So, it wasn't two genuine independent screens in the same fashion. And it was also monochrome. So, for all those reasons, no, because a lot of places go on about the Virtual Boy as being an important moment. It was a very compromised product and it wasn't even wearable, at least not the publicly available version. So, just mentioning it, yes, it existed. No, it's not really, it's not what we're talking about. Okay. Now, there's a whole bunch of other ones that did not sell very well at all. They're very niche. They're quite pricey. So, there was one called the Leep, L-E-E-P. The Forte VFX1 and the Victor Max Cyber Max. They were all a whole bunch of other little ones that didn't really go anywhere in the 90s. So, what I want to do is I want to actually fast forward to a time when We actually had headsets that met the basic criteria that I set. So, just keep in mind, 1989, all right, we actually have to fast forward until the mid 2010s before we actually get headsets that meet those criteria that the average Joe could actually afford to buy. That's a leap. It is. It is quite a leap, although we skipped the leap. It is quite a leap. All right. So, the first- The first- The name that's going to obviously come to mind in everybody's- It's going to be Oculus. So, I know that Oculus actually demoed their headsets in the early 2010s. Yeah. I can't remember the exact date. I think it was like 2011, maybe it was even 2010, but they were- It was actually quite a while before the Oculus Rift, which was the first really consumer available headset, the Oculus VR headset to be available. They even called it the CV1, Consumer Version 1. Yeah. So, that didn't actually get sold on the market. That was not a developer product. That was released in 2016. 2016. Now, I know that Oculus were- The headsets existed and yes, there were developers that were playing with them and you could get them like developer versions and people were using them for different things and so on and so forth, but technically you couldn't actually just buy that off the shelf as a product until 2016. Non-accessible to the general public. No. So, here we are now, we're in mid- it's July 2023. So, that was what, seven years ago? Yeah. Now, in those seven years, there have been so many different competitors to this. There's a crazy number. And I'm not going to talk about all of them, as I keep saying, but I just will honorably mention things that I'm not going to talk about. Like, for example, the PlayStation VR, the VR 2, the Valve Index, the HTV Vive and the HTV Vive Pro 2, for example. All of these are all relatively decent headsets, but I'm going to stick with Oculus and one other before we get to the Apple Vision Pro. I have a couple of reasons, mainly though, I'll be honest. I've actually used an Oculus. Okay. So we'll get to that in a minute. I've used it quite a bit. So anyway. Okay. A little bit more about Oculus, though. So Oculus was a startup and they got a whole bunch of venture capital funding and they did this amazing thing and everyone's like, oh, this is the future of the- Finally, virtual reality is going to actually happen. Fast forward five years or thereabouts and Facebook agree. So they bought them and that was- I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. On the good thing side- It's a bad thing. Yeah, not that we're going to be clear cut or anything, Vic, but I mean, you know, hey, look, there are pros and cons. On the pro side, they brought a crap ton of money and they also brought a lot of developer knowledge and know-how on the software side of things. True. On the hardware side of things, Facebook brought absolutely nothing at all, because what the heck would Facebook know about any hardware? So, you know, I see it as being, you know, that's still a pro. The big con is, well, it's Facebook. And Facebook will track your eyeballs. They'll track your body temperature. They'll find a way to extract information about you and sell you crap that you don't want or need ads and will out of the rubbish, because that's their whole business model. That is their jam. Yeah. So apart from the fact that Facebook and now, sorry, Meta is a somewhat reprehensible company. Apart from that, on the plus side, I think that we would not have the latest Oculus models that we have today, if not for their investment. I genuinely believe- True, that's fair. They drove the prices down to the point at which- and the production levels and the funding that they needed to get to that level. They provided that. So anyway, all right. Now I've had my love hate, mostly hate thing for Facebook and Meta out the way, let's just move on. And it is what it is. Okay, so, right, so the Oculus name, they kept using those. Even though Facebook bought it, they never called it the Facebook Rift or the Facebook Quest or the Facebook Go. They didn't do any of that. And only- - It's almost as if maybe they didn't want the general public to make that connection. - Well, that is certainly one theory. Although having said that, Facebook is now rebranding itself as Meta or its properties as meta. And they did just start referring to the no longer is it an Oculus Quest, it is now a meta Quest. Oh, really? Yes. But at least it's not a Facebook Quest. So, you know, there is that. Facebook Quest does not sound good. No. So, let's just be clear about what the Oculus, the original Oculus Rift CV1 was, it was a virtual reality headset. That is what it was. It was not augmented reality. It was not mixed reality. It is- It was a virtual reality headset. That is- That was what they were trying to do. OK, so now we're going to do a quick side discussion about a different company that I also never thought would do what they did. Have you ever heard of a company called Microsoft? I think I may have heard a little. Yeah, yeah. They've been around a while. Little start up out of Seattle. Yeah, yeah. They did a whole bunch of stuff. Not Seattle, actually. Redmond. They're Redmond in Washington. Yeah, Washington. Yeah. In any case. Just this little plucky little upstart. Yeah. They had some, yeah, questionable business practices in the early days. They've improved a little bit in recent times. They released this product called the HoloLens in the same year, 2016. And when it was released, it was about $5,000 US to buy one. And they released a version two in 2019. It's still about 5,600 US for the standard model, and it comes in three different models, like standard, then there's the Trimble XR10 that's- integrates with a hard hat. Got an industrial sort of a bent to one of the models. It's kind of interesting. Now- Is that to protect your head when you walk into things? It's meant for industrial use. Ah, okay. And this is the thing, is that Microsoft have never really pitched the HoloLens as a consumer product. People do use it, consumers do use it, and you can buy it and you can use it like that if you want to. But it is not a virtual reality headset. It is an augmented reality headset. And so, and the name HoloLens is very clever insofar as that is kind of what it's trying to do. It's like it is actually a description of what it does, as opposed to an Oculus Rift, which would suggest that Oculus for eye, Rift meaning a gash of some kind. So, yeah, it's going to put a gash in your eye. Hmm. It's not really a good name, but oh, well. The HoloLens, on the other hand, it is what it says it is. So, it's essentially a semi-transparent, like sort of like a bent, curved cover that goes over your eyes and sits- as it sits on your head. And it's actually- the information is presented as an overlay on that piece of perspex or glass. That's it. So, it's not- it's not virtual reality. So, virtual reality headsets have essentially got a hard plastic front or a hard, you know, glass or steel front, and that front is completely opaque. You can't see through it, whereas the hololens, you can. So, the hololens is actually genuine augmented reality. There's no- Well, there are video cameras, but I mean, there's no- They're not projecting from front to the eyeballs, to the screens. We'll talk about that in a minute. We haven't quite got to that point yet, but the hololens is genuine augmented reality. Yeah, it's just not possible for it to do a virtual reality where you're fully immersed. No. So, it's really- The real world's always there. Exactly. And it's meant- And they pitch it as a real world as a- Sorry, not a real world. So, they pitch it as a industrial or commercial environment, because what it allows you to do is it allows you to have- Well, because there's no lag with the real world, you're not going to have the motion sickness problems, at least not for that reason. But the problem is that you still have two eyes and you still have to blend that together. It still has a fixed focal length, therefore you still going to have virgin's accommodation conflict when it comes to the objects that it's displaying in front of you. Yeah. So, I'll put a link in the show notes to a video of someone who was giving a demo of the version 2 one, which was released, as I said, in 2019. Yeah. And honestly, to say that it's a bit laggy is being kind. Yeah. The hand tracking, really not the best. And you need to have hand movement in front of the body, like to interact with it as a user. The interface is sort of, it's right in front of you. It's just, it's yeah, I don't know how else to describe it. It's like you literally have to reach out to the interface in front of you and interact with it with your hands. That's what I was going to say, you're doing the thing everybody always imagines where you're like reaching up, swiping things. Yeah, it's Minority Report style. Yeah. Which, for the record, minority report is probably bad, but, you know, for ergonomic reasons, it's ergonomically bad. You get into that whole gorilla arm thing. But yeah, it looks great. Yeah, that kind of argument. Now that you've described this thing, though, and with the hard hat and the industrial, I can definitely see a place for this, like in skyscraper construction and job sites like that. And I bet that would be infinitely useful. They have done a lot of work in my career in construction and on construction sites, and I absolutely get it. And that's why having a price tag that high is something that that market could bear and would bear. So, you know, it's- I think it's a fascinating product. I really do. It's just I'm not entirely sure how big the market is and I'm not entirely sure if that's as a product technologically is good enough to inspire people to want to use it. Right. Because the lag in there and the tracking is just not quite there. So maybe there'll be future models that are better in any case. That's the HoloLens. OK, so that's augmented reality. OK, so you've got augmented reality in the HoloLens and you got virtual reality in the Oculus. So, of course, you got the Rift. Then in 2019, you had the Rift S. I'm going to skip the Oculus Go round about that time frame, mainly because it was a stripped down version, I supported three degrees of freedom instead of the generally accepted required six. So the whole X, Y, Z, forward, back kind of thing, monitor movement and such. And I want to jump to the Quest. And the reason why I jumped to the Quest is because it is not only the most well-known, it is the most popular of all the Oculus headsets in history. And for good reason, because it is, well, more affordable and it is quite performant. So, in 2019, the Oculus Quest was released. That was in May of 2019. And it supported the full six degrees of freedom. And now your panels are like- the panels are 1440 by 1600. They're OLED panels. Yeah. And I'm going to start talking about another thing, another terminology that they use in virtual reality headsets is pixels per degree, which, you know, makes sense if you look at your degree of view, and then the number of pixels across that degree of view is kind of the equivalent of pixels per inch, you know, PPI on a computer display. So, 14, obviously, the bigger the number, the better, because the smaller the number of pixels per degree, the more grainy it's going to look, no different to any monitor. It's just that the difference between a monitor is that, of course, it's a variable distance away, whereas these are quite close and more or less the same distance for every user. Yeah, it's not adjustable. OK, 14 pixels per degree, which, you know, is what it is. It's a number. Now, this particular headset, it only weighs 571 grams, which is really quite light. I'm sorry I didn't do a conversion to ounces for you. You're good. That's big grams. Yeah. Oh, very good. Of course, Chef Vic. So, that's really not that heavy in the grand scheme of things. Now, when it was released, and this is the thing that a lot of people, I think, that have used VR headsets realize is that hand tracking is the exception or rather has been the exception. Most of these VR headsets, in order to interact with them, because you've got to think about it, you put this thing on your head, on your face. How do you actually work the interface? I mean, it's not like you can touch it with your fingers. Yeah. So, you have to interact with it somehow. So, you know, there's no mouse, there's no keyboard, there's no, you know, there's no pointing device. So, what do you do? With your hands, you hold these handheld controllers and it's basically you just- You hold onto them like an old joystick style and your thumbs sit on usually a round or square set of pads above that. And there's a bunch of buttons or little joysticks on each of them for your thumbs. And sometimes you've got button triggers for your fingers that are around that the part your hand is grasping. The grip. The grip. Thank you. It's theatre for the mind. I'm doing my best. But the whole idea is that these things, what they do, so for example, in the Oculus Quest, when you hold those, they'll have what you'll see in the headset is it knows the the orientation of these, because they've got gyroscopes in them. And so, it'll project out a line forwards. And then you actually point with that line at the thing you want to select and you can select it by pushing a button on the actual controller. So, it's kind of cool. You can, you know, do a little pretend sword fight with each of these little, you know, the laser lines, you know, two controls. Lightsaber shot. I mean, you could. Yeah, exactly. I mean, you could do that if you're a child, just like me. In any case, yes, it works. How many times have you done this? Well, no comment. All right. So, but that those use controllers and the reason they use controllers is because the controllers are incredibly precise. They are very, very accurate. They're very consistent. So, in any case, that's been something that has been in- I would say those are a pretty good take marvel in themselves. Accelerometers, gyroscopes, all kinds of good things. Yeah. And a lot of that stuff was evolved and refined as a result of the smartphone revolution. So, you know, yet another thing that's been leveraged from that. So they're using so many things now, right, in what- in smart watches, phones, even airpods. Yeah. I'm pretty sure I've got- I've got- actually do airpods have them? I think they don't. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I don't think they have a gyroscope, but I think they do have the accelerometers. Yes, that's the accelerometers. No, actually, I bet they do have a gyroscope. Well, they have the- For that whole spatial audio thing. It's possible. With the head tracking. I think you're right about the accelerometers, because there's something that meant the tapping on the original AirPods, which I also miss in AirPods Pro, for the record. But anyway, all right. Let's stay focused, stay focused. Okay. Okay, so there was no- the hand tracking originally was released as a beta feature on the Oculus Quest and it was horrifically bad. However, in October of 2022, now I know I'm jumping around in time a little bit here, but there's a reason. There was a version of the hand tracking software update that was applied to all of the Oculus Quests. So, all the Oculus Quests have got forward facing cameras. Now, these cameras are very rudimentary, but they are enough to pick up your hands, so long as your hands are far enough forwards. So, version 2.1 of the hand tracking software is significantly better. So, you can actually do hand tracking for a bunch of interactions where previously you had to use the controllers. Now, I had a look at the comparative demo. So, there's a couple of people on YouTube that have done this demo of the old version of hand tracking in the new. And the biggest problem with the old version of the hand tracking software was it would lose track of where your hands were. So, because the field of view is not so great, the cameras aren't so great. That's a big problem for hand tracking. Yeah, it is. Yes. So, anyhow. So, the hand tracking has now been released and it works relatively well, even on the 2019 Oculus. Despite the fact the software was released as an upgrade over three years later. Yeah. Alright, so just back quickly to the cameras on the front of the Oculus. There are four cameras and the grey scale cameras for pass through. So, they don't pass through colour. They are there so that you don't bump into things. If you get too close to a wall, too close to a piece of furniture, it will break through and you'll see it break through as you're trying to play and it'll be like, oh, oops. And that's what's supposed to happen. Of course, for me, I will admit I have accidentally punched the wall. Oh. It's not- It's not- Did you make a hole? It's not a good feeling. I did not. That's good. I did, however, I did, however, make my knuckle bleed. But then again, I'm on blood thinners, so it doesn't take much of an impact for me to bleed. So there's that. But never mind. And the good news is the most important thing is the controller wasn't damaged. So my son forgave me. That's good. Thank you, Al. That's cool. OK, so now we're going to talk about the one that I have spent more time than I should have playing with. And that is my son's. And this is this one of the great things about having a son who has now got disposable income and is also a bit of a geek. He's helping bring good tech into the house. He sure is. And I love him for it. So, thanks, Al. Thanks, big man. So, yes, I should probably get him on the show at some point. Maybe I will, but we'll see. Oculus, but now renamed MetaQuest 2. So, his is still one of the very early production models. It does have a few issues because it's an early production model, but I don't want to go into it. But in any case, so the MetaQuest- Sorry, Oculus Quest 2. That was released in October of 2020. So, that was the beginning of the fun year. But never mind. I'm sorry, the end of the fun- towards the end of the fun year, but there were still other fun years in there. But no. Yeah, they kind of went on and on. Kind of dragged on a bit. Anywho. All right. So, I've used it quite a bit and I put it on and I play different games and until I feel motion sick and have to stop, basically, which is about 30 minutes in, usually. And now these particular LCD panels, not OLEDs, these are LCD panels and they're 1832 by 1920 pixels. So, if you remember, that's significantly more than the original Oculus and it's 20 pixels per degree, not 14. It's slightly lighter, 503 grams versus 571, has two microphones built in And the same for cameras, again, grayscale for pass through. I have never felt- I never felt that the headset was getting too heavy at any point. I felt that it was, you know, I was, I guess, getting motion sick before that became a problem. So never mind. Now, the other thing- That's about a half a kilogram, which is what, about a third of a pound, something like that? Oh, yeah. 2.2 pounds per kilo. Okay. Yeah. So that's actually one point one. That's one point one pounds. Okay. All right. Yeah. Yeah. I was mapping it backwards. That's right. Yeah, that's okay, though. But in any case. So again, this is a virtual reality headset. Now, when you do the breakthrough thing, it is grey, it is pixelated, it is horrible. Like it is utterly horrible. Like you will look at the room and, you know, imagine Have you seen those videos of the ultra low light cameras? Yeah. Like super low light and everything is all washed out and people just look like these really whitish sort of- Kind of like night vision but minus the red or green tint. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Night vision but in grayscale is what it looks like and it is horrifically bad. And you would- Yeah, but it sounds like it's not really meant to be a- It's only meant to be like a safety feature though. Precisely. Exactly. Exactly. My point is that, yes, it does pass through, but it is not augmented reality first. It is virtual reality first. And the pass through for augmenting reality, it's not really there for augmenting reality at all. So, the reason that as much as I would love to talk about more of my fun experiences with that one, I need to keep moving. Okay. I need to move on to the MetaQuest Pro. Now, the MetaQuest Pro, I didn't get the US price of this one because it sent me to the Australian website. You can buy it now. It's been around in- It was also released in October of twenty twenty two. It was, yeah, the same time as the two point one update for hand tracking. Coincidence? I think not. One thousand seven hundred and thirty dollars Australian. So, in US dollars, that's probably around about $1300, I would say. Probably something like that. Yeah. About that. Okay. So, not cheap, but also not too painful, certainly compared to the HoloLens. And why I'm fixated on this one, the MetaQuest Pro is specifically because it is actually a mixed reality headset or very close to being augmented reality, effectively. So unlike all of the previous Oculus and Meta headsets, this one was designed to have reality first. So this one is slightly heavier. It's 722 grams. There are three front facing cameras, two side cameras, and three microphones. They also improved the hand controls on this one, apart from being a different color, these ones are black, but they have haptic feedback and significantly improved tracking. Thing comes with a 256 gig solid state drive on it for storing games and different stuff, which I need to circle back on this in a minute, but I'll keep going. 1800 by 1920 pixels per screen, very minimal aberration issues, very good clarity. Again, LCD panels, but these are now 22 pixels per degree. So, we're getting up there with 120 hertz refresh rate. So, that's starting to get pretty decent. And you have- If you've got glasses like I do, you can use it with glasses. Yay for me. Nice. And yeah. Now, with my sons, you can use it with glasses as well, but you need a special spacer in order to fit it and the light shield on it as well. So, there's like a space that goes between the headset and the light shield and it just holds it out further from your eyes. It does work, but this one is slightly better because it's like a built in adjustment dial and everything, and it's really quite cool. So, yeah, very well, very well thought out. So, it does the things you would expect eye tracking, face tracking, mouth tracking. So, a lot of that stuff are very, very cool. Uses pancake lenses, of course, which is, you know, kind of like the best kind of lenses you should be using in these headsets these days. But the thing to remember, though, is that it does actually have full colour cameras for that reality pass, for that real world pass through. Nice. However, they are not high dynamic range. And according to one of the reviews that I read, it feels very much like a webcam, you know, back in the bad old days. So the resolution of those pass-throughs, so the LCDs that you're being displayed to your eyes, they're great. Like they're really good. 22, you know, pixels per degree. Not bad. 120 hertz refresh rate. Not bad. But the colour cameras at the front are just not quite as good as they probably could be. Yeah. So, the funny thing is, because it was designed as a mixed reality headset initially, when they first sold it, you couldn't even get a light blocker for it. They didn't actually come available to buy until a few months later, and they weren't cheap either. I forget how much, but they weren't cheap. In any case, so it wasn't designed for fully immersive applications. Initially, it wasn't released that way, but of course, you can use it that way if you want to. So it wasn't until early this year where you could actually buy one with a light blocker and use it for genuine closed off virtual reality. So it put the emphasis on video, pass-through and augmented reality and mixed reality first. And that's why it's an important data point in all of these comparatives before we get to the Apple Vision Pro, which is just about, we're almost there. Almost there. All right. So if you're hanging in there. So, there's one other thing I want to talk about, and one of the things that really annoyed me, and that is lag. Yeah. Now, I mentioned at the very beginning, I got- I get bad motion sickness and I always said, oh, it's just lag, right? When you think about it, because I'd never really sat down and thought about it until the Upvision Pro came out and they started quoting figures, and I'm like, hang on a minute. So, these headsets, all of the Oculus headsets can be run, the Oculus Quests can be run as tethered or independent. So, when you run independent, they can interact with computers over- and the internet, different stuff over Wi-Fi. Right. Whether it's games, whether it's streaming video, whether it's whatever it is, right. So, over Wi-Fi. Okay, no big deal, right. That's no big deal. But the problem is that you are then bound by the storage capacity, the memory capacity and the Wi-Fi quality in order to get a decent experience with a standalone, operating a standalone. And the game has to be installable, if it's a game or an application has to be installable on the headset itself and run on the headset itself. And some of these headsets are running, you know, like Snapdragon style of processors on them. So, Oculus have also got an Oculus Link, and that allows you to connect via USB-C lately to a computer that's got a high-powered graphics card, and it offloads all of that processing grunt to the desktop machine. Nice. Or laptop, I suppose. Well, it is nice, but it also leads to an interesting dilemma, because when you're trying to measure lag, the lag from what to what with What and how is a problem? Because the lag you're going to get from playing, you know, modern warfare or whatever the heck you're playing. Yeah. Some pick a first person shooter that doesn't date me like Quake. Yeah, man, let's get some Diablo happening. Let's get some Doom happening. Doom 2. I want the Simpsons. Hey, there's a brand new Diablo game coming to the PlayStation soon. Well, it's good to know. If I ever get a PlayStation. That's good to know. But yeah, so you can fire up some Doom, you know what I'm saying? Or some Doom 2 with a Simpsons mod. You need the Simpsons WAD. That's what you need. Anyway. Carry on. Point is, thank you. Depending upon the first person shooter game you're playing, for example, and the power of the graphics card and the computer and the cable itself and the headset, all of those things will contribute to the lag that you measure. All of it. And there are readouts that you can get overlaying telling you the different lag, but the different components in the system. So, yeah, and when you're on Wi-Fi as well, you can actually bring that up and see the lag. It measures it. Cool. So the problem is I looked around and there are no shortages of people who are basically having lag pissing contests. Yeah, I got my lag down to this because I've got this cod and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, okay. Are you telling me that there are nerds arguing with their benchmark scores? This happens? I'm shocked. So, I know. So, you know how there's this thing where we have audio files? Well, there should be a terminology for VR or VR headset of files or something like that. Something that doesn't sound like another thing that ends in files. But the point is that These people are obsessive, but it makes it extremely difficult in order for me to evaluate or do a comparison. To get a true gauge of the specs. Yeah. Yeah. So, the reality is you're not going to know what the future product is like until you do an equivalent scenario, an equivalent test. So, when we talk about the apple figures, we've got to take them with multiple grains of salt, if not an entire salt shaker full of salt. Okay, so where we're at is the best I could find with my son's Oculus Quest 2, about 60 milliseconds tethered. That- and he's got a pretty high performance graphics card because of course he does. Yes. And that made me motion sick. And I talked to him just before we started recording. And I sort of was bringing that up in just general conversation. He pointed out to me that, well, this also depended on the game because he said, I can guarantee you, I can show you a game that'll have you ready to throw up in three minutes flat. And I'm like, wow, personally, I'll- How about we not? That's it. If it's all the same. Yeah. If it's all the same to you, son, I shall pass on that. Anyhow. All right. Any other questions? Oh, actually, there was one more comment. So are we OK on lag? Yeah. I want to just mention one more. there is a lot of talk right now and last month Mark Zucker Bucker said. Sucker. Yeah, there's a there's a I'm not going to say. Now, carry on. Anyway, so Marky Mark and the Not So Funky Bunch did a thing where they said, hey, this is the MetaQuest 3. It's going to cost $829 US, going to be available later this year, late 2023. And it is going to be amazing. And they did a demo and the little demo was amazing. Anyway, supposedly better in lots of ways. That's it. That's all we know. There's no specs, no nothing. So there's just a lot of hype. And I'm like, well, if it's not real, I'm not talking about it. This is pragmatic. Well, they had to announce something, man. Apple did one more thing. That's exactly right. Funnily enough, to now it's the same week. Oh, wow. Is there a coincidence? So, imagine that. So, we're leaving that alone. And I'm sure that it'll be great, but I don't- I can't talk about it because there's no detail. All right. So, we have now reached the point where we can talk about the Apple Vision Pro. And- Excellent. Excellent. All right. So, we are in watching the keynote, the thing that struck me first of all, is that this is in essentially is an augmented reality headset. Is reality pass through is the first is what is intended to do first and foremost. It is not you can use it for virtual reality. Yeah. But it is an AR first headset. So, in many ways it is essentially unlike a HoloLens, it can be full vertically immersive, but hence why I was most interested in the MetaQuest Pro, because that particular one was a mixed reality headset, which is more, but it could also be done used as a virtual reality. So, therefore, I see that as the closest equivalent to the Apple Vision Pro. Yeah. Right. So this particular product is going to use an M2 chip. So the same one I got on my MacBook Air. Yeah. It's going to have a new chip that they're calling the R1. I presume R for reality, reality one, presumably. And that's going to be for processing all the sensor inputs and the camera information. Right. Which makes sense because, you know, And it's probably an application specific integrated circuit whose job is to do nothing but that. Right. To offload the chip and the GPUs and the MLN neural engine and all of the CPU cores on the M2 to leave them for managing the operating system, which makes sense. That's what I would have expected them to do. Yes. There's a lot, by the way, of cameras. There's 12 cameras on this thing. 12. I couldn't believe it when they said there were 12, like, you know, the Oculus, yeah, like a four or five. They- 12, my God. Uh-huh. I don't muck about. All right. Six microphones, because of course, you know. Yes. And of course, they have five other sensors, and those sensors include things like a LiDAR sensor, and there's true depth cameras as well, which they count as sensors, not cameras, I think. Yeah. It's hard to tell from the detail of the review in any of the specs on the site, because it's very- Some of it's got detail in interesting dimensions. Now, the next part I want- Basically, this thing's more self-aware than a cat. Yeah. You haven't met my cats, but yeah, that's accurate. Anyway. I have cats of my own. They're special. All right so according to supply chain rumour information and such and lining up panels that are believed to be from the supplies for this product and lining that up with what Apple has said because Apple's official spec is 23 million pixels across both of the displays. So that looks- That is a lot of pixels. So, that's roughly equivalent. And this is the problem is that they... These sites, because we don't know the distance exactly and the optics that they're using, we can't actually calculate an accurate pixel per degree. We need the physical product to figure that out. Yeah. So, having all the pieces, you've got to put them together into the sandwich and put it on and actually measure the distance from the eyeball to actually know that. So, the best you can do is guesstimate a pixels per inch for an equivalent display. Right. So, it works out to 3,400 pixels per inch. Nice. Now, all of that is to say- Yeah, I mean, all of that is to say that they are simply very, very small pixels because they need to be. Yeah. So, they're estimating about 3,800 by 3,000 pixels per screen, micro LED, micro OLED, I should say. Yeah. Again, that's rumoured. 90 hertz refresh rate, maybe 96, depending upon- There's a couple of sites saying 96. It can go up to 96 for watching 24 frame per second movies. Yeah. So I'm like, OK, sure. In any case- Because it's a number that scales evenly. Yes, exactly. But in any case, not 120 like the MetaQuest Pro, but the resolution is far better. Yeah. So I believe that those numbers roughly are close. But again, you're not going to really know until we really pull this thing apart. In any case, very high res. That's enough about the LCDs. Let's talk about the audio. Okay. So based on what I've read to date and have listen to from people that wore this thing, it sounds like the audio that's built into the head strap is using some form of bone conduction. The reason I say that is because most of the people that were there said that you could not hear the audio that was the other people that were wearing the headsets could hear, even though they were standing right next to them. Yeah. So, either the audio is so tight that there's no bleed, like I doubt it, or It's bone conduction. That's hard to imagine without any kind of ear cups. Exactly. Or. Yeah, exactly. So in any case, you know, that's fine. They call it more spatial audio. You know, that's great. But it's going to be like bone conduction or open back headphones almost, you know, jury's out on that. It'll probably pair with AirPods Pro anyway. Yeah, I suspect that's the way most people are probably going to want to use it. That's how I would want to use it if I were going to get one. Yeah, exactly, because then you can also have noise cancelling on if you want. Whereas, obviously with bone conduction, it doesn't really work. It doesn't have a noise cancelling. No, you're going to get a good transparency. Yeah. Alright, so I don't have too much more to add about the audio other than I thought that's interesting because Apple have not released bone conduction headphones before. Aftershocks, which are generally considered to be the best bone conduction headphones you can get. You know, Apple's never released a competing product. So, it's interesting. - It is. - All right. EyeSight. - EyeSight. - Because, of course. Of course, right? The idea is that this part of it is the front of the display. Unlike an Oculus, it actually is a screen. And this is- - it melted my brain the first time I saw it because I'm thought- - two things. One, why on earth would you bother to do that? It's- - because Apple. Yeah. And then- - and then the other thing I thought is how the heck are you going to make that actually convincing? So, what this is, is it is a curved display that projects an image, a simulated image of your eyes and your- the space around your eyes, as though you're looking through someone that had a pair of, like, ski goggles on and you could see through to what their eyes were doing. This is trying to create that effect, but by projecting that onto a display. And it's a lenticular display, to be clear. It's effectively a 3D display technology, but the problem with lenticular displays has always been the problem with so-called glasses-free 3D. Yeah. The resolution is not necessarily the best, and certain viewing angles, it doesn't look the best either. Yeah. So, oh, yeah, and it's curved. Yeah. And I've never heard of a curved lenticular display before. As far as I'm aware, this may well be the world's first curved lenticular display, for all we know, based on my research, I couldn't find anyone that actually makes curved lenticular displays other than those who are reportedly supplying for Apple for this product. So we're not going to really know how good that looks until the hardware gets out in the real world. But in those demo videos in WWDC, when you look straight on, it's almost convincing. In the- when they- when I saw it in the demo I thought my first thought and still think is that's an outstanding bit of UI and UX to try and like give you a connection to the people that might be trying to interact with you outside while you're using this thing. But also man those ass look kind of creepy. Yeah they do they do look very creepy so when when people turn their head even slightly it breaks the illusion. Yeah. And you can't get away from the fact that, you know, the distance from the actual surface of your cheek to the actual surface of the screen is non-zero. It's going to look a bit weird. Yeah. But if you're looking straight at somebody, then it will probably be passable. Yeah. But you know what? I honestly think they have tried to do- I think that's a bridge to like- It's not a bridge too far, it's they're bitten off more they can chew, that's the that's the analogy I was looking for. Well, it's their first attempt at it, so presumably they'll continue to refine it, and I suspect it'll get better as you know, we get into later generations of this thing. Well, I guess what I'm trying to get at is that lenticular displays have always been hit and miss. Yeah. You know, like like Fuji made a- The FinePix Real 3D and 3D frame, they made a lenticular display back in like 2011, 2012. Yeah. And it never sold well. It was extremely expensive. And this thing was flat, of course, and wasn't curved. It was extremely expensive. And there were certain viewing angles and certain photos. So, if you didn't take the photo at quite the right zoom level depth, then into, you know, the distance, stereoscopic distance between the two cameras. If you didn't get it just right at certain angles, it just- you'd look at it and just wouldn't even look like a photo. You wouldn't even know what the heck it was. Yeah. It's like the technology has always been theoretically okay, but in reality, it's- it over promises and under delivers. Maybe put it that way. It's just not there yet. But you know what? Maybe they've solved these problems. Well, I think my feeling is that if there's hardly anyone that makes these things and it's been around as technology for a while, but no one's ever really made it work that well, you know, have they just shot themselves by trying to do something that whilst I think it's well-intentioned and I think that it's a good thing and, you know, if they can pull it off, I think technology is just not there to do it. So, we'll see how that goes. In any case, I like the intention, like, yeah, you still have a connection with that person. Okay. Yeah. Great. All right. Anything else on the eyesight? No. No. There's not much to add, really, because I mean, it's clearly simulated because when you got this thing on your eyes, there's not going to be enough illumination to show you what your eyes are actually doing. Right. It's going to be eye tracking, face muscle tracking, and it's just going to be in a digital approximation. Yeah. Of what, you know, and skin colour is another one. I just kept thinking to myself, you know, like it's got to be pre-recorded because it scans your face. It knows your skin tone. So, it's like, let's say I've gone out for, you know, working in the coal mine in the backyard, as I do, you know. And I can come back with, I've got coal dust all over my face and I put on the Vision Pro and it's like, hey, look. You don't think the ice age is going to show the coal dust? clean. No, they're perfectly clean. Mind you, if I was that dirty with coal dust, I probably wouldn't dare put this thing on for that amount of money. I'd be like, no, no, I got to disinfect my face before I put it on. That's a fair point. Yes. Yeah. All right. Moving on. So this thing has a digital crown because, hey, my AirPods Max have got a digital crown. So has my Apple Watch. And now so too will the Vision Pro. Because, hey, digital crown, just the dial you turn, that's it. Anyway, so you turn that to adjust your immersion level. I thought that was a great idea. That is cool. So you can go from full VR and you turn the dial and you go full pass through. I was like, that's pretty cool. That's cool. That's cool. There's a button you can take photos and videos, of course, 3D photos and videos. And honestly, I look at this product as being, why the hell would you put this on your face to take a video or a photo? It's not, you know, it's like, I know why they've done it. It's like here, you got it all in one device. But let's be honest, if you think you look stupid holding an iPad up to take a photo at an event, just think how stupid you look putting one of these things on to take a photo of an event. Yeah, you don't want to be the guy wearing this thing around at a family function. Well, yeah, family function offers like any serious moving around. Like it's- They played it. You could take it to your kids sporting events. Yeah, that'll go down real well. Irrespective of the social stigma of it. I just can't get past this one problem. And the problem is that it's not the best device for taking a photo. It's not the best device for taking video. It just isn't. Right. Now, you can argue that smartphones aren't either. You know, like my Nikon Z6 II will absolutely trump any photo my smartphone can take and video as well. But having said that, I would say the smartphone is still the better 3D, the better camera and better video camera on the basis that it's almost always in your pocket. Right. Whereas my Nikon sitting on the floor right now, and if I walk out to go to the shops, well, I might just not take it with me because why would I? Right. In fact, going around a shopping mall with a camera like that, zooming around, taking photos of people is likely to attract attention and not the good kind. Yes. So, yeah. So, smartphone and building in, you know, like the ability to take 3D photos and video on a smartphone is the obvious next step. And I suspect- Because then you could just- Yeah. You could generate an enormous amount of great 3D photo and video content to view on this thing at a later time. Yeah. And that's why I think it's almost a guarantee that the next iPhone or the one after that will have the ability to do this. They'll have cameras set apart far enough. The phones are big enough now you can do that and build it in. How far apart do they need to be? Are we talking like... 75 mil, something like that, I think. So that's what, seven and a half centimetres. So we're talking about a camera bump at each end of the phone, maybe? Yeah, basically, yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, it's absolutely doable. Yeah, it is. 77 wide-wide into ocular spacing, 77mm. But you can get narrower than that. And this is the problem as well with 3D photography, right? Because if you take it at a distance that is different based on the individual, then that can create problems with vergence when you then display it and play it back. But let's not go there. The point is that if you don't do that with these other products, they will- you will- you will struggle to get enough personal content for people to ever make use of it. Right. So, you have to do it, in my opinion. We'll see what- let's see if I'm right or wrong. We're going to find out in a few months. Yeah, hopefully a few months. Sometime in 2024. Well, if not, if not, it'll be 2024. But if Apple was smart, they would be doing it now. Yeah. Get millions of iPhones that can take 3D video and photos into people's hands to make them want the Apple Vision Pro. And then, yeah, that's what I was going to say, you can make them want it because they will already have tons of content for it when they get it. And there's a whole bunch of different formats as well for 3D photos and video. So, the next thing I expect that they'll do is they'll start saying, well, in the latest version of this, it's got support for this particular Apple format, H-E-I-C 3D or something. Yeah. That'll be next. But anyway, look, we'll see. So they do. I could be wrong, but we'll see. All right. I want to keep moving. OK. We finally get to talk about lag. Yes. They are quoting, they, Apple, are quoting 12 milliseconds. But again, from what to what, with what and how? Yeah. I don't know. They don't say. Now, I'm going to assume, educated guess. That's a pretty amazing number compared to what you were talking about on those other devices, though. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That it should be extremely good. But, you know, I may still get motion sick for different reasons. What if my motion sickness is driven by VAC, you know, potentially? I don't know. We'll find out. Probably. Anyway, so I'm going to guess that that lag is probably the video pass-through lag. Yeah. But, you know, so but without a unit to test. We don't really know. We're never going to know. Yeah. All right. So, there's a price tag on this thing is... There is. Actually, it's three thousand four hundred and ninety nine. I think three and a half thousand dollars, isn't it? Yeah. And the thing is, you can't wear this thing with glasses. No. So, Apple's solution in air quotes is you have to Go to- well, either you go to the Apple store, they'll put your glasses in one of those optometrists things that shines lasers through and checks your focal points and says, right, this is a- this is your script. And it'll tell you your script. And then they'll sell you some Zeiss magnetically attachable lenses for your headset to customise it to you. It's still early days. I don't know if that's going to work because I have progressive lenses. So I don't know whether that'll work with progressives or not. I don't know if I even need progressives for that matter in this environment, because it's quite possible that if you have that, maybe there's a way of modifying that in the software or there's different viewing depths. That's what I've been wondering about. If they couldn't accommodate some of the vision issues with, you know, like your prescription vision issues, I wonder if they could make software adjustments for that too. Like you enter your prescription into the device in a setup and there's certain accommodations they can make for it in software. Well, I mean, I'm thinking more like you could set up limits so that, you know, let's say your vision is fine so long as things are up close. Well, you know, you could have a corrective lens that handles your improvements to your up close vision and up to a certain distance is fine. But the long distance vision, it'll simply like say, well, no, you can't go and- You can't put a window virtually too far away from you because you won't be able to see it. Yeah. Yeah. Or you could just do that yourself manually. Look, I don't know. It's not something I've ever had to think about before because I've always just put glasses on. I did put contact lenses on once, but I didn't actually like that for summary. Oh, that's right. It was because I was on progressives by that point, because I've been on progressives now for like three or four years. Yeah. So when my son got his Oculus. Quest 2. When he did do that, I was on- I still had my single focal point contact lenses because believe me, I've tried bifocal contacts and they are bizarre. Don't ask. Anyway, all right. So, so the software angle on this I want to talk about is it- Apple is not pitching this as a Full immersion product. Yes, you can do it. Yes, you can watch videos. You can look at photos and panoramas and so on and so forth, but they didn't show any games. No. They didn't show- No, not at all. Because, of course, Apple games don't- Yeah, whatever. That's just- That's what they do. Games? What are those? I know, right? It's what everyone else plays. People might want to play a game on this. I know. It's crazy. Anyway, so I suppose my problem is that- What my problem? Their pitch is very, very different from most of the other manufacturers, maybe the exception of the HoloLens, but to an extent. But if you compare the interface and how the quality and the smoothness of it compared to a HoloLens, it's chalk and cheese. Yeah. So, the Apple interface is so much smoother, so much more refined. It's just- Yeah. Anyway, now again, they say all these videos were captured from, you know, the headset. I'm sure they never nipped and tucked a single damn pixel, right? I'm sure it's just picture perfect, right? Of course. Sure it is. And the meta and the meta quest stuff that I've used is the real world usage. The Hololens is real world video of someone using it that I was looking at on YouTube. I suspect that this is going to have some jerkiness some lagginess from time to time. Like you'll load an application, it'll slow it down and then you'll turn your head and then the whole world will just freeze in front of you just for a split second. And it's going to be really annoying. And that is just, I think that is inevitable. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I think it's going to, we're going to find the edges of this the limits, we're going to find them. But for the moment, all we have to go by is what they've shown us. And it looks very much like they want to bring in all the applications that we're used to having all their other platforms just done, and they're calling it spatial computing. I just- Please. Anyway, I know they want- They really like spatial these days. They didn't have to give it a name, but yes, they did because they're Apple. My God. It's just a different interface, you know, and it is the click wheel really that transformative. Honestly, I didn't think it was that great. And touch interfaces worked just fine beforehand. I used them for years with a stylus and with my fingernail. Yes, multi-touch was better. That's true, but it was not something that they really, you know- Yeah. They didn't really- They didn't invent multi-touch either, but never mind. Okay, doesn't matter. Let's not split hairs over it. The point is that they- This is a device that you can walk up to with a physical keyboard and on blue- Apple keyboard, of course, Bluetooth, whatever. You can sit down and use it and you don't need screens. You could use the headset as the screens and you can type in with a keyboard and you could use a mouse presumably with it within the bounds of the virtual screen in front of you. Correct. Now, that's actually a very interesting prospect because you could have a massive screen projected in front of you, multiple large screens in a virtual world. And you no longer have to get a Pro Display XDR or a 5K studio display. You can't just put that in your- You can put the headset, you know, it's not tiny, but you could actually carry that in the bag. It's problematic carrying a 5K or a 6K display in a bag. I think saying it's problematic is putting it a little mild. Yeah, I don't know, you seen those 27 inch iMac backpack things? Yeah, I have. Yeah, Scott and I were actually messaging during the keynote when they were demoing this aspect of it and and I had mentioned to him like my current plan is when this 27 inch fry Mac dies I don't think I'm gonna replace it I think I'm just gonna grab a studio display hopefully they're on a version 2 by then yeah and fair enough when we were watching this thing I was like you know if the price is right on this thing maybe I just buy one of these instead of a studio display because then I could just take my large second screen anywhere I went yeah and And then as the presentation went on and they're revealing more and more of the tech that's in this thing like no that's that's not going to happen this thing's probably going to cost at least three grand and sure enough. Yeah I did so the other thing about this is that all of the oculus is have all had controllers. Well this thing has no controllers it is all hand tracking and what apple has done that is different. As far as I can tell from all of the other Oculus that I've tried, I know that they do have hand tracking as an option, but they come with controllers. This thing doesn't and you have to have your hands further out in front of you in order to use it. The tracking is definitely better than it has been, but it's still not as good as how this looks. But of course, how this looks is not the same as how this works with the Apple Vision Pro. We don't know until we try it. Right. But the one thing that's different is it has the downward facing cameras so that you can make the hand movement gestures and you can do them as subtle hand movements whilst your hands are essentially in your lap or by your side. Yeah. And the difference is that if you look at all the hand gestures from the Oculus, for example, or the Metaquest, whatever you want to call it now, it's all- And the HoloLens. It's all about interacting with objects, buttons, sliders and such that are in a virtual space in front of you. But that's not what Apple have done. What Apple have done is they're using your eye tracking to select the object and they're just using your fingers pinching together to select and then the whole pinch and slide your hand up and down or whatever else for scrolling. And that is not the same interaction model. At least it's different enough from the interaction model from the others that I think that's actually brilliant. That is... Yeah. And it looks a lot more ergo friendly than the old gorilla arm swiping. And... So, I think that that is an excellent innovation and what was required. So, we'll see how well it works in practice, but at least conceptually, you know, two thumbs up. That's great. One of the things that is not a thumbs up, not even one, is this whole persona thing. So, that's the thing where they create a essential digital replication of your body, your face, your shoulders, your body. So, it's like it's a- To present during face time. Yeah. And it's like it looks super creepy. It does not look genuine or real. And I understand why they did it, but my goodness, the amount of effort they must have put into trying to make that work. Yeah. Is it really worth it? I don't know. This seems like a lot of effort and a lot of compute for something that just looks off. Talking to somebody presenting one of those is going to be kind of weird. I guess I'm not going to know until we see this thing in heavy use in the real world. So there's a movie with Bruce Willis in it called Surrogates, and they had a surrogate version of themselves that was an android, effectively. Yeah. I remember that. And they would basically stay at home in a cabinet and then their surrogate would go out in the real world and interact with everybody. And the surrogates had like perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect eyes. Everything was perfect sort of thing. Yeah. Clearly fake, but it was the person, but it wasn't the person. And that's what these personas felt like to me, was that now we've created a surrogate a virtual surrogate effectively like that movie and that movie creeped me out in the same way these personas creep me out yeah anyway time will tell if that's a good thing or not but I just think that's weird anyway so honestly I I'm actually really excited about the Apple Vision Pro I genuinely believe that I'm going to do something stupid and probably spend money on it. Yeah. Because I think that this is the future, and I think that it's been waiting for someone to try and have a crack at this that is not a hardcore gamer that can see there are other applications. Oh, yeah. And it's not going to be attached to just a hard hat, you know, Because the beauty of what the MetaQuest Pro and the Oculus- and the Apple Vision Pro can do is they can give you virtual reality if you want it, or they can give you augmented reality if you want. And HoloLens can only give you augmented reality. That's it. Yeah. Which is fine, but it's not as much as it could be. Yeah. So, this one device can do both. So, I look at that as being a massive win. What Apple are trying to do in making it a little bit more personable is also, I think, a revolutionary thing, because they go and they say to people, well, you know, why don't you- What's the problem with VR headsets? Like, well, you close off to the world, right? Yeah. It's like, yeah, you are close off the world because we communicate so much with our eyes. You know, our eyes are so expressive that if you cut that off, it's really jarring. I mean, fair enough. You got this slab of glass in your hand and you're flicking up and down on your phone, scrolling and doing whatever you're doing when you're supposed to have a conversation with a person standing, you know, a couple feet in front of you. Well, that's really rude. And, you know, probably shouldn't do that. You know, if you're doing that, that's naughty. Don't do that. Point is, it's just something like a VR headset that is off the chart. You can still see a person's eyes, even if they're not looking at you when they're looking at their phone. Yeah. You cannot see them with a virtual reality headset on. So, Apple are trying to address that. Now, whether this lenticular display can do it or not is another thing, but at least they're trying something. Yeah. But I think of it as being a device that you could actually do work on and you could use it for 3D photos, 3D movies, it would be amazing for that, should be, which is where I'm more excited. Yeah. Because I've looked at some of the video that you can get on my son's when it's- That's what I think is going to actually be the big seller for this thing. Like, I think they might be- Totally. A little overly optimistic on how many people are gonna wanna buy this thing to sit and look at their calendar and their messages and their email and stuff like that web viewing probably will be big on it and I think that the 3D photos and videos things gonna be big on it. I tend to agree and I think that's being able to justify it in saying well you would get one of these you wouldn't get a big display. The fact is you could use this as your soul computing device you could with a keyboard and a mouse and this headset you would be able to do all any any the computing stuff you can do right I could do right now here I should be able to do in this thing more or less. Yeah. Mal not writing code maybe maybe actually probably could. As long as it can present a decent text editor and it's got the M2 in it, so that could definitely run some Xcode. If it's true that all of the iPad apps are just going to be able to be pulled into Vision OS or whatever they're calling it, with a few tweaks and nips and tucks, you know, Catalyst style, then I would say there's going to be plenty of options for that. So in any case. I think they really need to address that lack of VR style gaming functionality though. I think that's going to be a big miss for them. I really hope in the future they bring a lot more of that in because that's, you know, let's face it. That's the sole reason a lot of people would even want a device like this. Yeah, but this is what I think is brilliant about what Apple are doing is that the other headsets that are out there do not have the same pitch. You know, like Oculus is quite clearly been up all about gaming up until very recently. Yes, you had theater mode and you could do that kind of thing. And yeah, you could, but its primary focus was not the augmenting reality. It was not getting work done. This has the- They're pitching it as something that you can get work done, as well as you can have, you know, for personal use for like photos, videos and such, you can use it for different... It's more practical and useful and less in your way. It is. In certain situations. It is, but I feel like there's going to be a pretty large percentage of people that are just going to be like, man, this thing is outstanding. It- You know, using it is a dream. It's beautiful. You know, it's so nice, but it's got this $3,500 price tag on it and I can't play games on it. Well, yeah, that's true. But then what those people will do is they will buy a... They're going to go buy the Oculus instead. They'll buy a Metaquest 3, then they'll spend the remaining money they have left over from that to buy a powerful graphics card and a PC. Yep. And that's what they currently do. Yep. So they're not the market. They're not the target market for this. And Apple aren't trying to convince them to do anything. What I love about the Apple take on this is that it's like, here is an AR/VR headset. It is more personable than anything else that is out there. It is able to get work done as well as you can enjoy it for, you know, family photos, videos and movies and so on and so forth. So it's like it's not just- Yeah, the TV and movie viewing is going to be big, too. I left that out. Oh, for sure. Absolutely. So, I look at this and I think to myself, well, there's a few other little problems, though. And these are problems not just with the Apple Vision Pro, but there are some with it. It comes with that dinky-die weird looking battery pack, which only gives you two hours of usage. Of course, you can plug it into USB-C to keep it going, but then you're tethered and that's OK. But, you know. I think there's going to be a boom in the really long USB-C cable market. Yeah, exactly. And people are going to start wandering around with massive anchor, like 20,000 milliampere, which is why you shouldn't call that just 20 ampere, whatever. Yeah. Battery packs in their hip pocket with a USB cable up to the other one in the other pocket. Doesn't matter. Anyway. A daisy chain of them all in every pocket. Yes. Yeah, this- You know how you get those wallets with- Weight belts? Nah, no, no, that's my battery belt. You know how you get those wallets with the chain? We're just going to start seeing USB-C cables dangle like that. Yeah, I was actually thinking more about a diving belt, you know, the weight belt. Yeah. And not weight belt, that's my battery belt. Anyway. Like a 1960s style Batman's utility belt. Yeah. Yeah. Just like that. Yes. Anyway, so there's that. But the other thing, and I alluded to this earlier on. So I did have another reason for bringing this up. That light shield, which will have to be custom fitted to your face as well. That is- That's going to get very sweaty in summer. And I've used my son's headset at different points of the year. And I'm telling you, even in winter, that thing still makes my face sweat. Because there's no ventilation. Well, it's a computer strapped to your face, man. It's got to generate some heat. - Oh, it does. And the Apple Vision Pro, the people that use it said, yeah, it gets warm. There is a cooling fan in it, sure. But here's the thing, were they clever enough, Apple, were they clever enough to ventilate the section between your eyes and the screen? Because if they haven't, it'll have the same problem that every other VR headset has got. And that is, it is an enclosed space, your body will perspire, And that sweat will drip down and get absorbed by the light shield. Yeah. So, it's going to be grungy after even moderate use all year round. Even if you're in air conditioning, it's still going to be a problem. Yeah. So, I hope that they've been smart about it and they put some kind of a pass through for fresh air to go through there. It may feel a bit weird, but I think it's better than the alternative. But anyway, in the summertime, no matter what you do, it's just going to be really hot and uncomfortable. And I think if you could choose to be in front of a fan in front of a 4K display, you will pick that over putting this thing on your head. True. That's just, yeah, reality. True. So, that gives me pause in spending three and a half to four thousand US dollars, which will be more like five and a half to six thousand Australian dollars on a headset that I may not be able to use for four months of the year. I mean, because it'll be just horrible. Yeah. It's like that's a bit of a downer. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, so, but look, I'm also I've read an article only four days ago, actually, about supply chain problems, and they're saying that they're probably only going to be able to get a couple, probably 200,000 of these built in 2024 because they just don't- because the parts supply just can't- won't be able to keep up with the volume. Yeah. So we'll see. I don't know, that price tag's going to help a little bit. I mean, we're not talking about iPhones here. Well, no, that's true. Anyway, so look, I've reached the end of what I want to talk about for now, but the truth is that I think it's an amazing looking product. It is. It's going to be big, heavy. It's going to be, I think, transformative in a lot of ways, but there's some serious questions about little details that are going to probably make or break it as a product. Yeah. And I don't just mean the price tag, because that doesn't help. No. They'll come down in price eventually, but for now it's going to be very niche, very few people going to have them. And it may not be, it may be several years before we really know where Apple are going to take it. Yeah. But I would love to get my hands on one at some point. Yeah. And I think that if I do, I'd want to make sure I used it for a period of time and was comfortable with it before I bought one. Yeah. Wonder what the return rate's going to be on that. I suspect it'll be quite high because people will spend that money, they'll come home, they'll try it at home for a few hours, get motion sick probably, and then say no good. So that whole Apple return policy is going to get a good workout on these ones, I reckon. Yeah. I will say, like, especially like in contrast to a lot of the devices you covered on our history to get here, for their first step, their entry into this market, man, they're really knocking it out of the park. Yeah, oh, definitely. It's quite clear to me that if you look at the release of timing of the Oculus in 2016, I reckon Apple been working on this for probably since about then. I think Apple saw the potential. Maybe even longer. Possibly. I think that they saw the potential of where this is going and how this could be the most personal device that Apple's ever made. And I think that there is a huge potential if they can make it work. Yeah. But my my concern is that I think that there's some aspects of just bitten off more than they could chew like that lenticular display just worries me. Yeah. So we'll see we'll see I know that I applaud what they're trying to do. But can they do it can they pull off I don't know not entirely sold. Yeah. Anyway so when they when they do release it there will be more to talk about but until then I don't know how much else there is to say. Yeah. other than to speculate. And I don't like speculating because I think it's a waste of time. But that's all right. Any other thoughts on it before we wrap it up? No, I think you covered it pretty good. Cool. I mean, there's always more to say on some of the other display techs and stuff like that. So, I... I don't intend to get one, but I look forward to hearing your take on it when you do. Well, you're still- you're making the assumption that I actually do do that. I'm certain you will, John. I'm certain. It's a matter of time. Yeah. It's only a matter of whether it's two years or 10 years. Yeah. It'll happen. I think it'll be sooner than later. I think it's just a matter of, like, when you decide to sell a kidney or one of the children to pay for it, and you can convince the wife to go in. But I'm certain you will have one. Yeah. Yeah. That's the difficult part. You're this enthusiastic about it. you're this enthusiastic about it now and it's not even available yet i'm sure you're going to want one well you know the reality distortion field fades with time and the um you know the financial it does but they have this this this marvelous way of renewing it at release time yeah well we'll see about that oh dear anyway if you want to talk more about this you can reach me on the fediverse at chigi and engineered dot space or on the network at uh engineer sorry at eng net at engineer dot space. If you're enjoying Pragmatic and you want to support us and keep the show ad free, you can by becoming a premium supporter. Just visit engineered.network/pragmatic to learn how you can help the show to continue to be made. Thank you. A big thank you to all of our supporters and thanks to our silver producers, Mitch Bilger, Lesley, Shane O'Neill, Joel Maher, Jared Roman, Katarina Will, Kellen "Frodelius" Fujimoto, Chad During and Dave Jones. And an extra special thank you to our Gold Producer Stephen Bridle and our Gold Producer known only as R. Pragmatic is a podcasting 2.0 enhanced show and with the right podcast player you'll have episode locations, enhanced chapters and real-time subtitles on selected episodes and you can also stream Satoshis and boosts with a message if you like. There's details on how with with a Boostergram leaderboard on our website. If you'd like to get in touch with Vic, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you, mate? - You can find me on most of the socials is @vincunzen1. I'm on Mastodon, I guess I should clarify a little. It's [email protected]. (laughing) And I think, honestly, as far as socials go, the thing you can find me most frequently on right now is you can watch me play games badly on vincunzen1 as Mick Hudson won at Twitch. I haven't been paying the socials too much attention lately. - Alrighty, well, once again, a special thank you to all of our supporters and a big thank you to everyone for listening. And as always, thanks so much for coming back on, Mick. It's always a pleasure. - It is always a pleasure, John. Thanks for having me. (upbeat music) (upbeat electronic music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [Music] (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [Music] (explosion)
Duration 2 hours, 6 minutes and 35 seconds Direct Download

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This show is Podcasting 2.0 Enhanced

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Episode Gold Producers: 'r' and Steven Bridle.
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People


Vic Hudson

Vic Hudson

Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.