If you can’t get to an Apple Store with available Vision Pro appointments, or you just don’t want to, here’s what the whole experience was like on the headset’s release day February 2, 2024, at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York.
The glow of a headset calls from the corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City.
Strolling inside the Apple Store and descending the staircase, roughly half the store seems dedicated to Apple Vision Pro information and demos. A visit to the store in the days before launch revealed Apple carefully selected the height of the wall to shield ongoing construction from all prying eyes.
I started my visit with an official booking for a 9:30 am demo time. At around 9 am I had a look around. At around 9:30, I lined up for my demo in the center of the Vision area. Different sections of the store focus on various portions of the Vision Pro introduction and sales experience, with iPads on tables to tap for prices or to book demos.
Getting fitting right requires a quick head scanning process followed by a small wait as they scanned my prescription from the lenses on my Meta Ray-Ban glasses.
I was told about the basic gestures like pinching and the two-handed zoom. Next, there were straightforward explanations about the headset’s buttons — the Digital Crown and Top Button. The Top Button is used for captures but only the Digital Crown was used for this in-store demo.
Then I was shown how the magnetic light seal snaps into place and how the back dial tightens and the fabric of the strap itself stretches. Finally, I was shown how to grip Vision Pro in hand, turn it over, and bring it up to my face.
From here, it was a standard demo in headset much like the ones I've received already. It begins with calibration for my eyes in different lighting conditions as well as calibration for my hands. As we toured through the various content types on Vision Pro, I was asked verbally multiple times to express that I was impressed by what I was seeing in headset.
How impressed you are by the headset, its passthrough technology or this overall presentation at an Apple Store may vary based on the miles you have on your VR odometer.
To my eyes, though, Apple seems to have made enormous strides here with its retail footprint in showing people why VR is more interesting than just for playing games.