I watched baseball with the Apple Vision Pro and saw the future

I watched baseball with the Apple Vision Pro and saw the future

I have seen the future. I have glimpsed it and held it in my hands and worn it upon my face. At least, that’s what I felt when I strapped on the Apple Vision Pro and got to play around with it in inside the MLB App.
Feeling one part Iron Man and another part that kid from “Tron,” I got to experience the thrill of living inside my phone, the very device that is now preternaturally connected to my hand like a new limb.
The setup was relatively painless, if a bit strange. You strap on the goggles and go through a series of prompts asking you to waggle your fingers in front of your face before you begin “clicking” on multi-colored dots by looking at them and — essentially — snapping your fingers. Despite the simplicity of the task, this was arguably the strangest part: I didn’t need to move my hand to click on the object. The headset followed my eyes and knew what I wanted to engage with.
My helpful coworker, who was walking me through the experience, kept saying things like “You can leave your hands on the table,” and “Please, you’re going to knock your coffee off the table if you keep swinging your hands around like that,” before it finally sank in.
Once I had finished with the setup and a quick orientation, it felt like I was playing with magic, simply moving my eyes and watching apps and windows move in front of my face. I quickly opened the MLB app and selected that afternoon’s ballgame. Immediately, a screen popped up in front of my eyes and I began dreaming about watching ballgames in bed, laying back with the screen forever in front of my eyes. No longer would I rouse my wife with the flickering of the screen and the iridescent green glow of a baseball field streamed on my laptop.
Even crazier: The sound was just for me — and I never had to wear headphones.
The two of us were sitting in a small conference room, the only sound the slight whoosh of air from above. Despite the silence, my coworker heard nothing. Because of the way the speakers are angled on my head, I was fully immersed in the action, listening to the roar of the crowd and the gentle murmuring of the broadcasters, and yet I was ensconced in my own audio-visual bubble.
I played around a little more. I opened up Safari and could pull up my fantasy roster right next to the screen. I could add another one to add Twitter or Instagram, so I wouldn’t miss a single thing happening in the world or amongst my friends. Heck, I could pull up another screen with the story I was working on — though the thought of actually writing something was the furthest thing from my mind.
All of that was merely the appetizer, the amuse-bouche if you will, for the best thing: I pulled up MLB’s Gameday mode. Immediately, the eyeglasses dimmed as if I was in a theater. Rather than having screens that I had sized and placed around me, now the entire wall in front of me was filled with baseball. There was the game in the center, of course, but now the line score was directly beneath the action. To the left and right was a steady flow of information, featuring roster information and game activity.
Looking down, though, was the real treat. On the conference table in front of me was the batter’s box, complete with batter, home plate and even the foul lines drawn in the dirt. Above home plate hovered a three-dimensional strike zone that immediately updated as the pitch came flying in. I could twist and turn the box, looking to see where the pitch entered the zone and what its route was on its way. I could look into the batter’s box and see the current hitter, a quick click of my fingers pulling up all the information I would ever require.
I could swap out of this, too, opting instead for a bird’s eye of the entire field. Now I watched in real time as the hockey puck-shaped player avatars raced after baseballs lashed to the gap. Ever wondered just how good an outfielder is on their jumps? Ever wanted to instantly know the exit velocity of a home run? Well, here’s your chance.
Despite my enthusiasm for the product, there were a few difficulties I experienced. I’ve worn glasses every day since the second grade and I lack the courage to repeatedly poke myself in the eyes to wear contacts. For people like me, you’ll need to purchase special prescription lenses to use with the device, which we unfortunately didn’t have for my trial run. (A simple fix and perhaps the only reason I ever took off the headset and returned it to its rightful owner.)
It also definitely takes a few minutes to get the hang of the device and to realize that you are experiencing something no one around you is — perhaps take the device for a test run before wandering around the city with it on your face.
In the end, I was a convert. No longer was I simply watching a baseball game and scrolling through pages of graphs when I had some time to pull my attention from the screen. I was the game and the information — I was the singularity itself. I had opted in to “The Matrix,” and it turns out that Neo was wrong: This was spectacular.

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