Is the external display on the Vision Pro really needed?

In a recent analysis of the Vision Pro, iFixIt, known for its detailed teardowns of electronic devices, revealed that the innovative external EyeSight display is one of the main reasons for the device’s high cost, fixed at $3,499.

The EyeSight feature, which projects a representation of the user’s eyes to promote more natural eye contact, stands out as one of the most original and technologically complex features of the device.

However, it is receiving various criticisms due to the poor quality of the displayed image, which often fails to effectively serve its role as a contact between people outside and the wearer.

Stereoscopic 3D Display

iFixIt discovered that Apple applied a stereoscopic 3D technique to create the illusion of real eyes on the curved OLED screen.

Vision Pro Lenticular Screen
Lenticular screen (Tap on image to enlarge)

This is achieved by overlaying an optical magnification layer and a lenticular lens onto the OLED panel, a process that not only complicates manufacturing but also the repair of the device.

These added optical layers are crucial for the realistic effect, but they are also the reason for relatively weak light output from the EyeSight screen.

The Cost of Realistic Eyes

iFixIt’s analysis also points out that, despite the complexity and innovation, the functionality comes with a significant cost not only in financial terms but also regarding the repairability of the product.

The teardown revealed that removing the front panel of the Vision Pro requires considerable effort, involving a lot of heat and time, suggesting difficulties in repairs that may be necessary throughout the device’s lifespan.

Unnecessary Screen?

Since the final result of projecting eyes on the external screen is very poor, many are questioning if it really makes sense in the Vision Pro.

It’s a novelty that Apple introduced into this world of virtual headsets and, according to their discourse, it’s so that people around you can see your eyes in real-time, thus reducing the wearer’s sense of isolation.

However, the result ends up being very poor. And the external glass layers further hinder visibility.

Vision Pro Eyesight
External glasses hinder eye visibility on the screen

Youtuber Marques Brownlee stated, “You can barely see my eyes when I’m wearing the Vision Pro.” Brazilian Will Marchiori even defined the external screen as “a Tamagotchi resolution.”

So did Apple make a mistake in putting this external screen? Well, according to rumors, Apple is already considering removing it in a future version, to lower the price for the end consumer.

According to Mark Gurman, as early as last October, a future more economical (sic) version may come without this external screen, to reduce costs.

So, as previously stated here, the current Vision Pro is a huge (and expensive) experimental product, making current buyers guinea pigs to see what can be improved in future models.

So, would you pay to be a guinea pig?

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