Enlarge image

Apple's spatial computer vision Pro: A challenge for the experts at iFixit

Photo: iFixit

They did it again. Regardless of the fact that they were making a $3,500 gadget unusable, the experts at iFixit dismantled an Apple Vision Pro as soon as the first copies were available in stores.

They discovered that, contrary to what was expected, the power cable that connects the computer glasses to the external battery is neither permanently installed nor does it require special tools to dismantle it. Rather, a simple SIM card tool, like the one that comes with almost every smartphone, is enough to remove the plug. The same applies to the two speakers to which the straps of the glasses are attached. In both cases it was shown that Apple was using wider versions of the Lightning connector that had been used in iPhones and iPods for over a decade to connect those accessories to the glasses.

The Vision Pro itself turns out to be an extraordinarily complex construction. After the front glass was removed with the help of a hot air dryer and the padded interior paneling was removed, the interior, nested on several levels, was revealed. Each locked by several screws and connected to each other with several cables, there are various modules underneath, which contain the M2 chip, the two micro-OLED displays, the stereo cameras and various sensors.

The deeper she went inside, the iFixit expert found “more adhesive tape, more screws, more retaining clips.” “The repairability is not particularly good, but some of the connections are well made,” says the iFixit blog. However, the repair portal does not yet want to make a final judgment on whether the expensive VR glasses can be repaired; further analyzes are necessary.

The experts are now certain that they have found the reason why the display of the glasses wearer's eyes on the external display is perceived by many as "scary". According to Apple, the feature called EyeSight is intended to help users “stay in touch with the people around them.” It is intended to give the impression that the glasses are transparent by making the eyes visible to the outside.

US testers of the Vision Pro criticize the image of the eyes presented in this way as “too dark” and it is “hardly visible”. According to iFixit, this is due to the optically complex structure. On the one hand, a video of the eyes is not projected outwards, but rather several perspectives combined.

There is a so-called lenticular film on the outer OLED display. This technique is otherwise more familiar from shaky images that show different motifs depending on which side you look at them from. Another film is attached above it, which is intended to visually widen the image of the eyes and give it an impression of depth.

The result is a stereoscopic image of the eyes, the resolution of which is reduced by dividing it into partial images and the brightness of which is reduced by the foils.