The WWDC 2023 – Mac Pro and Vision Pro
The announcements for WWDC were pretty impressive, even though the long awaited, much debated, often leaked, Mac Pro got 2 minutes in the spotlight. It was a quick overview of the specs, then on to the next item.
It was a quick update for the Mac Pro and the Mac Studio.
The new Mac Pro is basically the Mac Studio with expansion slots. The Mac Studio gets a bump to the same Ultra chip. I expected the Pro to either get 2 Ultra sockets, or 4 of the Max chips woven together. I was being a little nutty. At least they kept the 2019 Mac Pro case, since that’s a good design.
At least the questions of what the Mac Pro has to offer has been answered. It supports certain kinds of expansion cards for certain kinds of tasks. Since I don’t have a need for that sort of thing, looks like the Mac Studio will be my next upgrade. It’s going to take at least 8 months to save up for that, but the target is more clearly defined.
You also have to wonder, how many Mac Studios are getting boxed up for sale on the used market? Will one of them be mine?
The next interesting item is the Apple Vision Pro. I’m not a fan of, or interested in AR/VR, but I found this presentation intriguing. I also think Apple has shifted the focus of AR/VR.
Up to now, the whole VR space has been about games. That’s interesting, but it doesn’t appeal to 90% of the population. The idea of flailing your arms around in your living room with a pair of batons or grips in your hand isn’t sexy. How many times has that been mocked? Not to mention the whole thing needs to be hooked into an already powerful machine.
Then Apple comes along, bundles the entire thing into a single unit, removes the external computer, and presents more compelling examples for its use. The idea of an infinite workspace, a movie screen the size of a mountain, or an immersive environment during a guided meditation is far more compelling and appealing than playing a game with block characters running around.
Plus, you can see the through the headset and people can see you, or at least a representation of you. They addressed the idea of seeing people walking into the room with you, of being able to interact with real objects and virtual ones at the same time, and being able to be immersed, but not isolated.
I found myself saying, “Damn, that would be pretty cool,” and I’m not interested in VR. I have no plans to get this “spatial computer,” but I can immediately see dozens of practical use cases. And you never know, in a couple years I might completely change my mind.
The idea of being in an immersive environment is very appealing. The experience of being on a mountain, or in a forest, or walking through the streets of Italy, with that level of detail could be incredible.
You’ve had a crappy day, or some other stress inducing situation, and for at least a few minutes, you can step into a real Corona commercial and feel yourself sitting on a beach with the waves rolling in. That would be pretty bad ass.
People will have to build or scan those worlds at that level of detail, but they now have a reason to do it.
Then there is the idea of using a spatial computer to help those with mobility issues. People can visit places, and keep their minds active in a way the traditional VR doesn’t.
From my standpoint, Apple has made the same shift in AR/VR as they did with the iPhone. Before the iPhone, devices looked and acted the same. Now, they look like the iPhone.
AR/VR had a certain concept, a certain audience, a certain way of working. Now they will work like Apple Vision.
Will this make VR for the masses? Apple Vision doesn’t have the same mass market appeal as the iPhone, but with the dozens of changes Apple introduced, the concept of VR is a whole lot more appealing than just for games.
The first domino just tumbled.