Forget about Apple’s AR headset design — give me a reason to care about mixed reality

Dec 9, 2021
Maybe your job has no particular compelling use case for mixed reality.

Couldn't the lack of a reason simply be a failure of imagination for other people's jobs?

There are thousands of use cases where mixed reality hold the promise of improving the on the job speed and effectiveness of the user.

When a surgeon is operating on tumors which aren't visible to the human eye (which can be many) - which surgeon do you want - the one that's going at it by memory from the scans - or the one for whom the scan are super-imposed in realtime on the surgical site.

When the builder is proposing plans for the bathroom - do you want him simply saying where everything is going to go - or do you want both of you to see exactly where everything is going to go - so you don't discover there was a miscommunication on where the toilet would be placed - and have to bring them back to revise it. (Happened to people we know.)

If you have limited vision - such as central macular degeneration ...

If you want to see furniture full realized in your home before you buy it (instead of trying to peer through the AR tunnel of your phone)...

If you want to experience a fully 3D hologram lecture ... or have your favorite comedian appearing to be delivering a one person show in your living room...

If you wanted dance instruction in a way that allowed you to look down at a virtual instructor standing right next to you...

If you wanted to be taught to play the piano virtually with music mapped to the keys ...

If you wanted the vivid experience of someone sitting on the couch next to you that was in fact in another city ...

If you wanted to transform the faces of people in the city to all be beautiful, scary, or sexy - you could live in a digitally different world with Mixed Reality.

It seems like the MR scenarios are endless. It seems the real challenge is pushing our imagination to find those compelling scenarios that actually make a difference and even begin fixing the social and political damage technology is having on the world. What MR scenarios might those be?
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Dec 9, 2021
To judge the potential of AR based on today's tech is like handing someone a Palm Pilot, and saying "why do I need a smartphone? The touch screen is terrible, just give me buttons. The apps are poorly designed. The internet is limited. I'd rather just use a PC." I looked at those terrible Palm Pilot devices, and I always thought "If someone did this right, it'd be amazing!" The potential was always there.

AR/VR is cumbersome, uncomfortable, and unenticing... right now. But AR is all about the untapped potential. In its ideal form, it has the potential to replace smartphones, and really all screens. Content isn't limited to a box – you don't need to own a big TV, when you can just put an IMAX screen on your wall. Or navigation overlays, or browsing the internet, or checking the weather. Almost every app on my phone, I could envision a better version in AR that's just part of the world around me, rather than looking down at my screen. That's the vision, and a use case I'd put on the glasses for.

Lots of hurdles to overcome – WAY smaller headsets, apps, the entire ecosystem needs built. I'd give it 10-20 years... but to me, mass adoption of AR is inevitable. It might take a generation, but it's gonna happen.


Nov 9, 2014
Mixed Reality is go anywhere technology. Games like Pokémon Go, will instantly become more immersive on the iPhone because of it and you will have Pokémon battle tournaments at public parks. I’m not a huge Pokémon fan myself, but I can tell you there are a lot of them out there that would kill for this experience.

Now imagine some D&D group doing the same thing and actually having quest orchestrated from MacBook near you, with your own personal choice of location that is being augmented with game content.

The devs can focus most of the graphics on the creatures, because you don’t have to render backgrounds as nature did that for you.