'But why?' Social media reacts to customers wearing Apple Vision Pro goggles in public – USA TODAY

Last week saw the launch of Apple’s mixed reality headsets, and it didn’t take long for unsuspecting people to come across Vision Pro users wearing the devices while swiping wildly with their hands.
Reactions to the startling sights varied widely on social media, with some expressing amusement and others lamenting what surely must be our impending dissent into a dystopian society reminiscent of a science fiction novel. While social media is hardly a reliable barometer of larger public sentiment, some users did dispense with mockery to hail the mixed reality sets as the wave of the future.
Emphasis on “some.”
It remains to be seen whether the pricy product will catch on with those who aren’t tuned into the latest tech gadgets and crazes. For now, it seems safe to say that most people have found the Vision Pro sets a tad bit, well, bewildering.
Here’s what people are saying on social media:
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First, though, a refresher:
Unveiled in June, Apple Vision Pro combines aspects of both augmented and virtual reality to provide an interface that users can control with their hands, voice and eyes.
Costing a staggering $3,499, the device was said to include more than 600 apps at launch last week “designed to take full advantage of (its) unique and powerful capabilities,” Apple said in a news release.
For an idea of what it looks like to wear the goggles, Apple released a commercial in January from the point of view of a user donning the device and seeing an array of apps overlaying exterior surroundings.
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Most people, though, likely won’t experience Vision Pro by putting the goggles on for themselves, but by encountering its customers in public.
On social media site X, YouTuber Casey Neistat‘s 10-minute video demo of the technology garnered 16.7 million views and prompted a slew of responses from other users. He himself sung the Apple product’s praises, lauding it as “the single greatest piece of tech ive ever used.”
“This feels like a little glimpse into the future,” he says at one point.
Commenters on X, though, tended to be less convinced.
“Is that even safe? Wearing it on the road on your boosted board,” one user asked, to which Neistat jokingly replied, “safety third.”
“This feels like a renaissance painting,” another user said in a post sharing a screenshot of the video showing Neistat eating a pastry in a restaurant as other customers look on with bemusement.
“People gonna get mugged so hard these days,” said another, apparently speculating that the expensive devices will become a target for would-be thieves.
Another video on X shared by user HighSnobiety viewed nearly 2 million times shows a man walking in the Manhattan neighborhood of SoHO wearing a Vision Pro set.
“But why? I get the use-cases for entertainment, workflow, etc but why wear them while walking around outside your home or workplace?” one user commented.
Social media users have been just as puzzled and skeptical on TikTok.
On TikTok, a video with 3.7 million views shared by user sanjosefoos showed a man walking across a San Jose street wearing the goggles while making indecipherable motions with his hands.
“It hasn’t even been a day yet,” read the post’s caption, which was accompanied by a dead emoji and a crying emoji.
“Ready player one always seemed like a realistic possibility to me. Think about it. All of it is starting,” one user said in a comment on the post, referencing Ernest Cline’s 2011 science fiction novel about a dystopian world with virtual reality that was made into a 2018 movie by Steven Spielberg.
But not all users were so skeptical. Other commenters compared reactions to those after the release of plenty of other tech products, including Airpods and other Bluetooth-powered headphones that are now widely accepted and used.
People made fun of AirPods when they first came out too,” one user commented.
Another viral TikTok video re-posted by Barstool Sports shows a man riding a subway while apparently using the Vision Pro goggles to work.
“The entire train will be looking like this in 5 years,” one user commented on the post.
“Bro is brave enough to wear something worth $3,000 in nyc transit,” another user commented.
Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at elagatta@gannett.com

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