Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, has been a staple of Apple’s recent launch videos, particularly when the company unveiled new Apple chips. However, Srouji was conspicuously absent from the Apple Vision Pro launch video, which showcased the new Apple R1 chip, as well as the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro announcements, which showcased the new powerhouse M2 Ultra.
However, the Apple Vision Pro was a somewhat controversial product for the company, as both the New York Times and Bloomberg stressed ahead of the launch that there was rarely disagreement within the company over the launch. According to Bloomberg, despite his team’s involvement in the development, Srouji distanced himself from the project, skeptically comparing it to a “science project”. Given Srouji’s unusual absence from the launch of the Apple Vision Pro, one could interpret that he prefers not to be associated with it, even now that Apple has achieved the official launch.
The May 18 Bloomberg article states that the Vision Pro suffered from various design compromises during development. The March 26 New York Times article states that the Vision Pro was originally intended to be unobtrusive, similar to glasses, which ultimately evolved much more like a regular AR or VR headset. A notable critic of the headset after its launch was Tony Fadell, Apple’s former hardware senior vice president, who said Apple “skipped the shark” as it was overpriced and lacked a compelling marketing strategy.
Apple’s CEO wasn’t always optimistic about the prospects for AR or VR headsets, either. In a 2015 interview with The New Yorker, Cook rated headsets as a product category to avoid:
We always thought glasses weren’t a smart move as people don’t actually want to wear them. They were intrusive rather than pushing the technology into the background like we’ve always believed. … We always thought it was going to be a flop, and so far it has been.
According to Bloomberg, legendary former Apple designer Jony Ive, who worked on the Vision Pro before leaving Apple, was concerned about creating a device that would isolate people from one another. The design team responded by incorporating a new EyeSight feature into the product, which places an external display on the outer visor to project the user’s eyes and eye expressions, allowing someone nearby to see where the wearer is looking, and ” more natural” can interact with him.
The Apple Vision Pro will hit the U.S. market in 2024, priced at $3,500, with more markets to follow in 2025.
Buy Meta Quest 2 for only $299 from Amazon.
Sanjiv Sathiah – Senior Tech Writer – 1373 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017