Connect with us


Apple VP of interface design talks about Vision Pro after headset wins award

The Apple Vision Pro’s operating system — visionOS — has just been awarded the Black Pencil by the UK’s Design and Art Direction Awards (D&AD). Black Pencil is D&AD Awards’ highest accolade. And Apple Vice President of Human Interface Design, Alan Dye, thinks visionOS is a new era of computing.

The Apple Vision Pro is the company’s first foray into the XR industry. While most XR headsets focus on gaming being their primary use, the Vision Pro is more geared towards enhancing work productivity and passive media consumption.

Apple refers to its headset as a “spatial computer”. The company, much like Meta, wants XR to become the future of computing. A desire echoed in Alan Dye’s words after visionOS won the Black Pencil.

— Alan Dye, dezeen, May 2024
The phrase “new era of computing” indicates that Apple is all in on XR. This is excellent news, in my opinion, because the XR industry needs more big players to encourage growth. And Meta seems to share my belief because last month the company made its Quest OS platform open-source.

That move renewed interest in the XR industry from companies that had dabbled in XR in the past. Lenovo, for example, is now working on a productivity-focused XR device powered by Meta’s rebranded Horizon OS. Asus is also making a headset running on Meta’s OS. But its offering will be more performance-oriented.

Not the first Black Pencil Apple has earned

Video Thumbnail
You can really tell this headset is made by Apple just by looking at its design.
This is far from the first Black Pencil award Apple has earned. And what’s interesting to note is that almost all Apple products that have been awarded a Black Pencil have done really well. The list of Black Pencil awards given to Apple is as follows.

  • iMac (1999)
  • Cinema Display (2000)
  • Apple Pro Mouse (2001)
  • iPad (2002)
  • iPhone (2008)
  • iMac (2008)
  • Apple’s website (2010)
  • iPad (2011)

Many familiar names are found on that list. Furthermore, the D&AD also named Apple the “best design studio” and “best brand” of the past 50 years all the way back in 2012. The iMac, iPad and iPhone — all of which won Black Pencil awards — are staple products of the company today.

An intuitive user experience

visionOS winning a Black Pencil award means someone at the D&AD was really wowed by how the Vision Pro worked. VR headsets aren’t anything new, but the Vision Pro certainly embodies that sleek Apple feel. Both on the exterior as well as what’s shown on the inside.

In fact, the former head of Oculus seems to think it’s a bit too good: calling it an over-engineered devkit. Apple clearly wanted to impress the industry, but it ended up with a headset almost no average consumer can afford. Making it all the more necessary that the rumored Vision Pro 2 drastically cuts down the cost.

But for XR to really take off as a “new era of computing” the devices need to be as user-friendly as possible. Alan Dye believes that the Black Pencil award is proof Apple will excel at that.

— Alan Dye, dezeen, May 2024
Alan is correct, in my opinion. Any industry would need an intuitive experience to entice users. But I think it needs to be taken a step further.

Bulky headsets are okay for gaming indoors, but not many consumers will want to wear one when out and about. Which is why I believe the next step is AR glasses. And thankfully, Meta is already working on a pair named Project Nazare.

Google also showed off a demo of a pair of AI-powered AR smart glasses at Google I/O 2024. So the industry is at least starting to move in the direction I think it needs to.

Will Apple eventually make a pair of AR glasses of its own? I guess we’ll know in a few years. I’m just glad the XR world is getting more attention. Because I truly believe VR games are the future of gaming.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: