How to Test Drive an Apple Vision Pro Without Making a Purchase

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After the release of the new Apple Vision Pro, I scheduled a consumer-level demo appointment at one of the Apple Stores in New York City. Despite the recent launch on Feb. 2, I had to book my demo a week in advance, regardless of the time slot or day of the week.

The booking window only extends until Feb. 18, and Apple has indicated that appointments can only be made up to a week in advance. The in-store demo setup includes individual stations with magnetically attached trays and staff members, referred to as “Geniuses,” who distribute headsets.

This impressively curated experience aims to showcase the capabilities of the Vision Pro. I chose a particular location in New York City due to it being the site of Apple’s first Vision Pro customer, Aarish Syed.

At the scheduled time, I arrived at the Apple Store and checked in with the staff managing the appointments. The device provided for the demo appeared to be well-sanitized, reflecting Apple’s emphasis on cleanliness.

The demo session lasted 30 minutes and was highly curated. Initial setup involved scanning my face to ensure a proper fit, which was a bit inconvenient due to issues with the face-scanning feature recognizing my beard.

During the demo, I was guided through the process of adjusting the headset and familiarized with basic control gestures. Apple’s focus on spatial video and 3D content viewing was prominently featured.

I also had the opportunity to experience a 3D version of a Super Mario Bros. trailer and explore different visual environments through the headset. Upon conclusion of the demo, I was able to evaluate the comfort, weight, and overall feel of the Vision Pro headset.

The number of concurrent demos indicated a significant effort on Apple’s part to facilitate the experience for potential customers. Throughout the session, the staff actively inquired about my impressions and potential interest in purchasing the $3,500 headset.

Overall, the demo provided me with a first-hand experience of the Vision Pro, and I was left contemplating whether to invest in Apple’s non-VR VR headset.

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