(2024-01-17) Infinite Blank Canvas
Chuck Jordan: Infinite Blank Canvas. I’ve been plagued with indecision about the Vision Pro headset, kind of hoping that the demand would outstrip supply to the point the decision is made for me, or grateful that I can’t just make an impulse purchase without first scheduling a long-overdue appointment with an optometrist.
The obvious question with the Vision Pro is one that I touched on in another blog post: What does it do? The utility and longevity of it are far from certain. That’s why there’ve been complaints that it’s essentially a dev kit being marketed as a consumer device. And the more sensible and rational take, which is to wait for the inevitable future version that will be faster, lighter, more capable, and have a better-defined (if not completely-defined) use case
compared it to the early adoption of personal computers in the mid-1980s. They were usually exorbitantly priced
And they had questionable utility; Snell mentions how (cookbook) recipe databases were often made out to be the “killer apps” for personal computers, mostly because there didn’t seem to be much else practical you could do with them.
People didn’t buy them because they were immediately useful, but because they had long-term potential
as computers have gotten so ubiquitous as to be practically inescapable. There’s no longer anything special about them, nothing inherently “delightful” about moving windows around or typing into documents or copying files from place to place
I’m in 2024 feeling nostalgic for the way I got excited about computers back in 1984. When I tried the Vision Pro, it actually felt like I was seeing something new.
The most recurring thing that keeps the iPad from being the “magical” device that I’d initially imagined it being, is that Apple sets arbitrary restrictions on what you can do with it... though I could get an iPad with a SOC as powerful as the on in my laptop, it still couldn’t ever replace my laptop. It looks like it’ll be the same case with visionOS — the limitations on which apps and which versions of apps that I can run will no longer be because of constrained screen space, or because it’s running on a mobile device, but simply because Apple says so.
On the other hand: Apple’s put a ton of state-of-the-art technology into this thing