Monday, February 26, 2024
Monday, February 26, 2024
HomeTechnologyWith Apple's $3,500 headphones available, new social norms apply

With Apple’s $3,500 headphones available, new social norms apply


Yam Olisker walked through New York City’s Times Square receiving stares and questions from strangers. That can happen when you have a $3,500 piece of technology strapped to your face.

Yam Olisker walked through New York City’s Times Square receiving stares and questions from strangers. That can happen when you have a $3,500 piece of technology strapped to your face.

Olisker was wearing Apple’s new Vision Pro, the mixed reality headset that looks like giant silver ski goggles. Yes, even in bustling Times Square, among naked cowboys, costumed spider-men rushing for selfie tips, evangelists shouting scriptures about the end of the world, and out-of-towners trying to follow shoddy directional apps to get to the next representation of “The Lion King”: the Vision Pro stood out.

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Olisker was wearing Apple’s new Vision Pro, the mixed reality headset that looks like giant silver ski goggles. Yes, even in bustling Times Square, among naked cowboys, costumed spider-men rushing for selfie tips, evangelists shouting scriptures about the end of the world, and out-of-towners trying to follow shoddy directional apps to get to the next representation of “The Lion King”: the Vision Pro stood out.

Some passersby asked Olisker to tell them how many fingers they had up. “They didn’t believe he could see them,” says Olisker, 19, who had flown from Israel to buy the device.

Call it the curse of being first.

Since the Vision Pro went on sale, early adopters who took them into the wild have been gawked at and judged for covering their eyes and about half their face, when they could, well, avoid eye contact with other humans in the area. normal way, staring at them. on their phones.

The Vision Pro is one of Apple’s first major product launches in years. It does what a phone or laptop can do: send emails and show movies, but it tracks your eye and hand movements when you want to click on an app or type something.

Questions from strangers remember when the first iPhone came out. How do you type without buttons? Or when AirPods took over the streets: is that person talking to themselves?

Apple, which first introduced the Vision Pro in June, calls it revolutionary: It’s its first look-through, not eye-opening product.

Ben Parr, a technology entrepreneur and investor, says he has used his Vision Pro on an airplane and in a hotel lobby, using it for work. A dozen people have asked to wear it, he says.

“They definitely ooh and aah when they see the screen and they can see everyone around them,” he says. “Generally, though, I’ll just let my friends do it in the future.”

When he recently dined at a stew restaurant with friends, the waiters and busboys asked him what was tied to his face.

He even ate a few bites with the Vision Pro on. “You can, but it’s close to the nose,” says the 38-year-old from Los Angeles. Drinks are trickier: “I would recommend a straw to anyone who wants to drink while wearing a Vision Pro.”

Nikias Molina, who traveled from Barcelona to purchase the device, carried his Vision Pro on a crowded New York subway while typing in the air with a keyboard that only he could see. Other passengers looked down and didn’t seem to notice or care, but that wasn’t the case on Molina’s return flight to Spain, where he was a form of inflight entertainment.

The passenger sitting next to him asked so many questions that Molina was worried the man would ask him to try on the headphones.

“I don’t want to share anything,” says the 25-year-old YouTuber, citing germs and the high cost of the device.

Molina also noticed a flight attendant staring at him while he was wearing headphones over his eyes and trying to watch the Disney movie “Luca.”

“She thought I couldn’t see her,” Molina says. “People are just curious.”

Others say it puts them off seeing people walking in public like they’re about to ski down a black diamond in Telluride.

Jonah Rothman recently went to TD Garden in Boston to watch a basketball game and saw a man in the front row wearing the Vision Pro during the game. “If I paid for courtside seats, I wouldn’t put a device on my head,” says Rothman, a 19-year-old college student in Boston.

Part of being an early adopter is figuring out what exactly to use it for.

Dante Lentini put on his new headphones and put his Tesla Model Y on autopilot. In a video posted on

“It was so, so futuristic and dystopian,” Lentini recalls. “I couldn’t believe it with my own eyes.”

However, many people reacted angrily to the video, saying Lentini was probably distracted while behind the wheel. He later said the video was a parody.

“We were thinking, ‘We just spent $3,500 on this. We’ve got to try to make some money off of it,'” Lentini says. “We’re always looking for things to go viral, so we thought, ‘What crazy things could we do with this?'”

Even those living on the cutting edge of technology are still figuring out how to interact politely with those still stuck in reality.

Anshel Sag, a 34-year-old technology analyst in San Diego, says his one-month-old daughter had fallen asleep on his chest when an idea occurred to him. “I asked my wife to bring me headphones,” he says.

She watched about 30 minutes of “Avatar: The Way of Water” while her baby napped, blissfully unable to hear the noise of the movie.

However, he considered, but refrained from, bringing his Vision Pro headphones into the bedroom. “My partner feels a little isolated,” she says.

His wife, Talia Sag, says she wouldn’t mind.

“We don’t always have the same tastes in programs,” says Sag, 30, owner of a snack business. “It would be a good way to spend time together while he can watch whatever he wants.”



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