WW 832: Saturated by Fake Girlfriends

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Interesting to hear about Paul kicking his COD habit, and comments on that. I had a few months with not much to do as family was away on long trips, so I decided to replay The Last Of Us (after enjoying the HBO show) and part II back to back. A few hours every evening instead of TV.

You do end up with this alternate life in the game, found I was thinking about characters, plot, tactics etc. all the time. Was quite weird.

Now reverted to my normal few hours a week now everybody is home :slightly_smiling_face:


Everybody keeps talking about using the Vision Pro in public, or with the family - and I think that latter was a huge mistake on Apple’s part, in the demo, I was looking at it and going, yes, that is good, yes, I want that, then suddenly, wtf? - but I see it more as a den/office device, where you are alone, or maybe in a cubicle.

It is expensive, but as expensive as having half a dozen hi-res HDR monitors grouped around you? It can also cope better than having all those physical monitors around you, because it only needs to render where your eyes are looking, the windows outside your field of vision are like a virtual desktop, but instead of having to remember a key combination to get to them, you just turn your head.

I believe Microsoft’s MR initiative could do something similar, and I nearly bought one of those headsets, but the quality wasn’t good enough and the hand controllers were off-putting. Apple seems to have solved those two problems, but that makes the price too high.

I don’t think it is insignificant, that apart from the dorky father in the kitchen, all of the scenarios were people sitting alone, with only showing the sensing technology, where a second girl came into the room and the headset automatically switched on surroundings and pushed through the eye projection. I’m guessing most people would probably take the helmet off at that stage and interact with the person face to face.

Edit: I found it interesting that the hosts kept saying that Apple didn’t mention AI, yet AI, or rather ML, was all over the place in WWDC. It seems that Apple is continuing with the ML designation, instead of jumping on the Buzzword-Switcheroo bandwagon, it is also more accurate, IMHO.


I always thought Cortana was a great marketing choice for a voice assistant. The enthusiasts recognize it for what it is, and the “normals” hear a pleasant, articulate voice and are none-the-wiser. A shame the timing couldn’t work out in terms of natural language development.

The way Microsoft handled Skype and Teams on the consumer side makes my head spin. I bet their daily active user numbers are in the 100s. Fake girlfriends not included :rofl:

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The thing about the iPhone was its universal accessibility. Their new headset thingy is only suitable for those whose eyes work correctly. Not only does it cost a stupid amount of money, but since I have Nystagnus, I doubt it would work… that might even make it worse. Hence, I think it’s the most pointless invention, or without the eye-tracking component, I’m not sure it even makes sense.

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No, it isn’t only for those whose eyes work correctly. That was the biggest thing that got me excited, you can get Zeiss lenses to fit on the inside of the goggles to match your prescription.

That is huge. At least, I think it is. I’ve looked at all the VR/MR headsets, and apart from Google Glass, none of them had the ability for it to be used with/instead of normal prescription glasses.

I need varifocals, so even if I could have worn the glasses under a helmet/goggles, they would have been useless.

My brother also has nystagnus and with the lens in his glasses, he was able to compensate, put that same lens in the Vision Pro and it should work, I would have thought.

As a glasses wearer with poor eyesight, it was the first VR/MR headset I actually got excited about, purely because of this feature. It is still way too expensive for me, in its current form.


Yeah, but I’ve read that those Zeiss lenses are close to $500 - bringing. the price tag for Vision Pro to nearly $4000 before tax. At this rate - the only ones who can afford it are the dual-income-no-kid crowd or those in the top 1% of the income bracket (and likely there’s some overlap on those two groups). And since I need an iPhone to measure my face for a custom fit - that means one would need to purchase an iPhone with a camera that’s intended for this operation.

Sorry - I know I keep harping on the cost. But this device is such an extravagance. It’s a luxury VR device. Oculus Quest 2 is $300. The Vision Pro is more than 10x the cost at $3400 (before any Zeiss lenses and taxes) and only supports one account. And this isn’t a developer version - it’s the final release product. For me - the constraints far outweigh any benefits or gains.

I agree with you on cost. But this is the developer and bleeding edge crowd’s device (even if it isn’t explicitly marketed as a developer device - they need to get some richt “normies” onboard to also attract the developers). This is the iPhone 1 or the Mac Pro with Studio Display version. This is for a rarified group of users who will still buy it, despite the price, and give Apple the runway to fine tune the product, whilst waiting for the technology to catch up and come down in price.

My normal glasses cost me around $700-800 at the moment, but they are varifocals. Again, should this hit mass-market, I’d guess the cost of the lenses will come down greatly, along with the price of the rest of the device… But that is probably 4-5 years away, if not more.


Bleeding edge is absolutely right. I disagree with you, though, on the iPhone 1 comparison. That was $500 at retail, which was high back in 2007 but still far more attainable for people than $3499 in 2023.

At the end of the day - this really is a device for the person who’s already predisposed to the Apple ecosystem. The barrier of entry is so high that I really don’t think anyone who doesn’t own an Apple device (specifically a high-end iPhone) will see this as a reason to enter the garden.

My normal glasses cost me around $700-800 at the moment, but they are varifocals

So would you need varifocals in the VR world? Can’t get my head around it :upside_down_face:

Similar to Leo, I have a dominant eye so I’d struggle with any 3D or functionality that relies on depth I think.

No, that is the thing, I have varifocals and they would be absolutely useless with VR, so I would have to but a normal pair of glasses anyway, if I was going to use any other VR Headset.

@vernonlvincent i was listening to Mac Break Weekly and Jason got to try the Vision Pro and said it is 10 times better than the Quest 2… especially for movies, the Quest was “dreadful” in gods experience and the Vision Pro was very good.

He also stated that the spatial vision is very good and much better than any other VR device he has ever tried, peripheral vision was also very good. But due to the number of people going though the demo rooms, it wasn’t possible to get a good fit for the goggles in the time allowed.

Edit: don’t forget that back then, the iPhone was $499 fully subsidised, today you rarely see subsidised phones anymore.

And I agree, this is for Apple developers and those already in the eco system. As I’ve repeatedly said, this is not the version for mass adoption, it is a technology preview and a platform Apple can use to learn how it is used.

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Imagine if you wanted to use it the way they pretend to intend you to… to NOT be anti-social? Then assume you have a family of 4. Since each one is personalized, you’re buying 4 of them. What’s 4 times $4000 to the Apple wealthy? Sounds like burning enough money to buy a decent small used car.

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Confused! So you need to correct your vision for the distance the two screens are in front of your eyes.

Then when in a 3D VR space - with a movie on a far wall, computer screens at arms length, UI elements right up close, it’s all in focus? You have virtual 20/20 vision?

Yes, it is like watching television or using a computer monitor, they con you into thinking there is depth there, but the focus point doesn’t actually change. No matter what is on the screen, it is only sharp when I look out of a particular part of the lens, the closer I am, the lower down the lens I have to look, further away, futher up the lens, but what is shown doesn’t make any difference, it could be a close-up of a face or a dramatic panorama, my eyes don’t change focus and I don’t need to use other parts of the lens to keep things in focus.

If I have the correct lens, essentially, yes, although the dioptrine between my good eye and bad eye is so great, I can never have 20-20 - the optician said a maximum of 2 - 2.5 dioptrine difference is usually the limit, I have a difference somewhere between 3.5 and 4, which means I have the correct lens for my good eye, but the bad eye has to make do with a sub-optimal lens, where everything is a bit blurred, because the brain rebels if the dioptrine difference is too great.

Interesting look at Vision Pro from a developer’s perspective.

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You know what else was “extravagant” and a “luxury”? This:

The DynaTAC 8000x, the first commercially available mobile phone. It launched in 1983 for the price of $3995 (more than $12,000 in 2023 dollars). At the time, the minimum wage was $3.35 per hour, which means you’d have to work for more than 7 months to buy the thing. It weighed 3lbs (1.4kg)

Thirteen years later, it would birth this:
The StarTAC, which was down to $1000 and just 3 ounces (88g). This was another breakthrough, but still extravagant, for sure.

25+ years later, we’ll have another $3500 potential breakthrough product. That’s just the way this stuff goes. I see no point in harping on the price. This is not life-saving medicine being sold for life-threatening markups. These are bleeding edge technology products that will stoke interest and fuel development for years to come, eventually delivering the next wave of mass adoption-- if there’s something to it; if not, then Apple will have burned a few of their many, many billions and some relatively small number of consumers and developers will have burned a few thousand dollars to get a glimpse of a future that never was). And then the cycle will start again somewhere else.


That’s reasonable.

Fundamentally, I have issues with tech that both locks you in (making it hard to switch) and with tech targeted toward the wealthy. I’m from a time when tech was supposed to be an equalizer and democratizer - and this notion of making expensive things just for the same of making them expensive really disturbs a core part of my being. But you are absolutely right that this is not really something to get worked up over.

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Nope. As a business, we rented one at great expense when it was new. It allowed our support person to still attend his university classes. It was a justified business expense as it allowed the business to exist (we were small, and the support was part of the contract, and no one else was available in that role.)

I’m sure someone will try and declare face computers a business necessity, but it will likely be Disney, and it will involve a simulation ride of some sort.

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Until Sinclair came along in the 1980s, personal computing was well out of the reach of normal people.

An Apple II cost several hundred pounds, for a base unit, add in monitor, disk drives etc. and it cost an absolute fortune! The same for IBM, around $20,000 for the base unit in today’s money, graphics adapter, monitor, disk drives and even the keyboard extra! Just a base unit with BASICA in ROM and a cassette port.

Along came Sinclair and offered something affordable. I saved up all of my pocket money for around 8 months to save up half the price of a ZX81 (around 35 pounds), my mother then put up the other half, because I had proven I actually wanted this new fangled tech. 69 pounds was still a lot of money for a school boy on pocket money of less than a pound a week, but it was achievable, a thousand plus for an Apple or 3000 plus for an IBM wasn’t. Even the Commodore VIC=20 was over 400 pounds, when it came out.

(And I came from a relatively well off middle-class family, my father was a director of a company and my mother a personnel manager at an oil exploration company. We weren’t rich, but we didn’t struggle.)


And many other developers working in the Apple eco-system. I can think lots of business use cases that it might be suitable for, off the top of my head. A previous employer was using VR headsets in 2018 to try and let customers see what they were buying, by setting up a PC and tethered headset in the customer’s empty factory and they could walk around all the equipment they were buying, seeing how the AutoCAD diagrams translated into the real building, see all the tubing, reactors etc. that was to be put in place. Doing that with a Quest 2 would be more flexible, but the quality allegedly offered by Vision Pro would make it a no-brainer for such a task, and a $3,500 headset for showing off projects worth millions each and is not tethered to a PC, so the customer can actually walk around their factory freely, instead of an assistant lugging a gaming laptop around behind them, would be much better.