Hugo Barra, former head of Oculus at Meta, writes about Vision Pro being an over-engineered “devkit”.

(Sometimes for a blog post such as this one, I repurpose a comment on a link site.)

They could have waited for it to fit into glasses and launched a better product. But Apple builds product-platforms. They have to start on the chicken-egg problem of getting apps on a platform to attract users versus getting users on a platform to attract developers.

If it’s cautiously over-specced, well, that’s how the first Apple Watch was. They offloaded much of the compute to your phone just to be cautious about battery—it would flop if it turned out it didn’t really last all day. Later, the watch ran its own apps. I’m skeptical of the author’s idea that they’ll make the opposite move here.

I think this first Vision Pro really is a dev kit in the sense that it’s meant to expose developers to “spatial computing” as a medium and get them thinking about what to build. You won’t invent a killer app for the web if you’ve never used a browser. That this dev kit is presented as a shiny product gets it on more heads, which means more thinking within their audience that could lead to a more filled-out platform.

At this price only companies, indie devs, and enthusiast users should be buying. Yet for the price of two Vision Pros converted to 1977 dollars, you could have just barely bought an Apple II.

Rumors say they’re working on a model that drops the price by over half. I think this product is aimed at the success of that one.