Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Early reviews of the Apple Vision Pro are quick to criticize its EyeSight display. This external screen, which shows a CGI version of the wearer’s eyes, has a dim and uncanny quality that doesn’t live up to Apple’s advertisements. Now, iFixit is tearing down the Vision Pro to reveal the EyeSight display’s inner workings.

If iPhone repairs give you anxiety, iFixit’s Vision Pro teardown video will send you into convulsions. Apple’s first-generation “spatial computing” headset is a maze of screws, glue, and connectors. And because the key components are tucked behind the EyeSight display, iFixit has to kick off its teardown by peeling back several layers of glass and film.

The EyeSight display’s curved glass exterior is pretty uninteresting. Once it’s carefully removed, a layer of shaded glass is revealed. The shaded glass, which has several cutouts to fit around the Vision Pro’s exterior camera array, sits atop a layer of lenticular film. And this is where things get weird.

To achieve a 3D effect, the OLED EyeSight display interpolates several different images in a staggered pattern. The display looks hilarious when viewed on its own—it’s the highlight of iFixit’s teardown. All of those weird layers that sit on top of the EyeSight display help to smooth things out. While the lenticular film provides a “holographic” effect, the shaded glass dims and diffuses the image to hide imperfections.

During its teardown, iFixit took a moment to ask why the EyeSight display exists. It’s just “another screen, more connectors, and so many more points of failure—all for the sake of a slightly creepy feature.” Apple’s ambition has outpaced its abilities. However, the EyeSight display may be nothing more than a tone-setter for “spatial computing.” Apple knows that the first-gen Vision Pro won’t be a big seller, but it’s taking the opportunity to educate future customers.

This teardown video also addresses a popular myth. Early reviews of the Vision Pro complained about the battery pack’s permanently-attached cable. But the power cable isn’t permanently attached. It’s simply locked into place, and you can unlock it with a SIM removal tool or paperclip. Unfortunately, the Vision Pro’s power cable is proprietary, so you can’t connect it to third-party USB-C power banks. However, you can daisy-chain another USB-C power source through the Vision Pro’s battery pack.

A future iFixit teardown will focus on the Vision Pro’s internal screens. It’ll also include a repairability score for the headset. However, it’s already clear that this isn’t a “repair-friendly” item. If you buy the Vision Pro, don’t skimp on the Apple Care+ plan, as uninsured repairs start at $800 and may drift into the $2,000 range. For additional information on this teardown, check iFixit’s blog.

Source: iFixit

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By John P.

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