Vision Pro doesn’t offer $3,500 worth of value… yet: Developer

Apple (AAPL) recently launched its AR/VR headset Vision Pro. Spatial Dynamics Co-CEO Cathy Hackl joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss Vision Pro’s potential, describing it as the technology’s “early days.”

Hackl called the Vision Pro “a really advanced piece of consumer technology” that combines computing and visuals into the physical world, unlike full virtual reality. However, with a $3,500 price tag, she says it doesn’t offer “$3,500 worth of value… just yet.”

Adoption will “take time,” Hackl notes, as app content catches up to the capabilities. She sees it as “a progression,” but the lack of consumer awareness of spatial technology makes the costs hard to justify for most.

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Editor’s note: This article was written by Angel Smith

Click here to watch the full interview on the Yahoo Finance YouTube page or you can watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live here.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, before generative AI companies were obsessed with the metaverse, remember that? So much so that the company formerly known as Facebook changed its name to Meta. Well, we’re now nearly two weeks after Apple’s Vision Pro’s official launch. Spatial computing, which is the technology behind the metaverse, is getting a lot of renewed attention here.

Joining me now on the future of spatial computing is Cathy Hackl, Spatial Dynamics co-CEO. And Cathy, you have been a metaverse evangelist, if you will, talking about this for some time. But I imagine you’ve had a chance to play with the Vision Pro a few weeks now. Why don’t you first give me your response or just your take on the latest headset and how it maybe differs from, for example, those like Meta’s that have been on the market for some time?

CATHY HACKL: Yeah, it’s a really advanced piece of consumer technology. I’m an Apple Vision Pro developer, so I was actually able to use the device before many people did. But it is truly advanced in the capabilities of what it can do.

It really does expand technology in new ways. And I know we’re going to talk about spatial computing, but it’s very different than other hardware that consumers have seen because it’s not virtual reality in 100%, right? It’s more about putting computing and virtual experiences in someone’s physical world.

So the device itself is pretty advanced. It is pretty expensive, of course. $3,500 is not something that every consumer is going to purchase. But it is very advanced technology.

One of the things that I love about the device is that it actually uses your eyes as the mouse and your fingers as the clicker, which is a totally different way of engaging. But very different device, much more advanced. There’s definitely $3,500 worth of technology in the device, but maybe not $3,500 worth of value for the mass consumer just yet. So it is a version one. It’s the early days to be honest.

AKIKO FUJITA: Cathy, you know you mentioned that this isn’t just VR. It is mixed reality, where you can– it’s AR incorporated as well, so you can actually see what’s around you. I mean that would seem to be a big leap in the positive direction.

So you’re not sort of just confined to this headset as well, but there is a question about the content following. So how does this move forward beyond the Apple fan base to wider adoption?

CATHY HACKL: Yeah, it’s going to take a while. But what you’re going to start to see is a lot of companies start to bring in new hardware devices. And this is as much a play on hardware as it is a play on software and especially AI.

I try to remind everyone, especially when they try the device, that there are about 12 cameras and this device is using really advanced computer vision. So there’s– a huge part here. I think content, there’s not that many apps just yet that truly take full advantage of the device. So I think we’ll see a progression into more companies doing more innovative things on the device. Where I think it gets interesting is when you start to think about an iPhone 16 or an iPhone 17 having more spatial capabilities. I think that that’s where we get to that point where potentially more consumers and more people are going to be interested in spatial computing.