What does the Apple Vision Pro mean for the future of XR in Education?
TL;DR: If the Vision Pro truly delivers what's promised in its grand launch, we can get ready to embrace the Third Screen - a revolutionary shift in the classroom, but more importantly outside of it.
We're not there just yet. Much like Schrodinger's cat, until we've given it a thorough test-drive, the Vision Pro could either skyrocket into success or nosedive into an expensive disaster à la Magic Leap.
Yet, it's Apple we're talking about here, a brand synonymous with shaping the course of technological evolution. So, I can't help but be optimistically curious.
If the stars align, 2024 might herald the dawn of XR's third age.
Taking a trip down memory lane, we began our journey in 2014 when Facebook acquired Oculus. This was the era of oversized, wallet-breaking, user-unfriendly headsets designed for gaming enthusiasts and simulation labs. Fast forward to 2019, Meta ushered in a new era with the launch of the Quest 1, bringing affordable and convenient XR experiences to the clued up masses.
This new chapter saw a surge in adoption across industries, including education. But we’re still talking baby steps: at best a handful of brave VR champions in each institution carrying small to mid-size deployment projects on their shoulders. Indeed, XR technology struggled to cross the 'Usefulness Threshold.' This invisible line represents the point where a device's benefits in terms of learning, productivity, or entertainment outweigh the pains of deployment and performance limitations. The Quest era in education was marred by a relatively shallow catalog of experiences, an isolating and cumbersome user experience, and promising but ultimately too demanding communication and productivity applications.
Enter Vision Pro, which promises a brave new world where your XR device isn't just your third screen, but becomes a devourer of your time across the other two screens.
It promises that you'll be able to work, play, and socialize with a level of efficiency, pleasure, or immersion unprecedented in the XR landscape.
Should this promise materialize, it would be a giant leap forward for the VR industry, bridging the gap between early adopters and the mainstream market. For education, and I'm letting my imagination run wild here, this could be the game-changer we've been dreaming of.
Imagine remote learning that's almost as engaging as in-person experiences but at a fraction of the cost. When coupled with AI advancements, this heralds a significant step towards providing engaging, high-quality education remotely and at scale.
Hand-tracked fingers firmly crossed!