In this week’s Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that Apple is all prepared to give customers a complete Vision Pro experience, from setup to experiencing the mixed-reality world inside the headset, which could last as long as 25 minutes.
Here’s how Vision Pro demos will work
Customers will have to go through a facial scan and have a custom headset assembled and calibrated for them. They will be given a walkthrough of the interface and controls. Then, they will be given the experience of watching the ‘spatial’ content on the headset, which includes photos, movies, and apps (even the third-party ones that will be available at the launch).
The demo begins with a retail staff scanning the customer’s face using an app, similar to setting up Face ID. This helps determine the light seal, foam cushion, and band size needed. The light seal comes in over 25 shapes and sizes, and cushions come in two sizes. If the customer wears glasses, the staff will scan the prescription, choosing a lens from hundreds of lenses available for the demo. Another worker assembles the demo with the correct accessories.
Once the headset is assembled, a retail employee will explain how to use the Vision Pro headset, including pointer control, gesture selection, headset handling, and Digital Crown usage. After putting the headset on, the customer needs to complete tracking and tapping exercises for calibration. These exercises include looking at circular patterns of varying brightness levels and scanning your hand within the headset’s field of vision.
Now begins the 25-minute demo. It starts with still images and panorama shots, moves on to 3D spatial images and videos, and then shows how to use the device as a computer or iPad replacement. Customers are also shown immersive movies, including clips of wild animals and sports. The Vision Pros in Apple retail stores will also be preloaded with various third-party apps.
The process was taught to several store employees in Cupertino in January, who then trained their colleagues.
Gurman notes that the goal of the demos is to give users an experience that’s compelling and not exhausting. Some retail employees feel tired and sweaty after just 30 minutes of use. So, ensuring that the demo goes comfortably for the customers could be quite crucial for Apple to sell the Vision Pro. There is a redesigned headband, which was shown to the retail employees during the training session, but it is not being used for the in-store demo.
At some of Apple’s most significant stores, over a dozen demo units will be available at any given time to manage the expected number of appointments for the Apple Vision Pro. There will also be a dedicated sit-down area for the demos and a dedicated table showcasing between two and four units of Vision Pro, though only for viewing purposes.
Trying out the Vision Pro will differ from the actual buying process. Customers can try it on at a store where an employee will select the correct options after scanning their face. The same process can also be done online for those who buy the device through the online store.
The customer demos begin at Apple stores on the launch date, i.e., February 2, and will continue until that weekend.
Apple’s new product launch has been extensively prepared for, but success is uncertain due to its high cost and size. Retail stores have been advised to double their inventory space during the opening weekend of Vision Pro. Early adopters are expected to purchase the product, leading to an initial sales surge, but demand is likely to taper off.