Imagine unboxing Apple’s long-awaited Vision Pro headset only to find yourself locked out days later – unable to reset the device without returning it.
That nightmare scenario is unfolding for early adopters of the $3,500 ‘metaverse’ kit. Multiple owners have taken to Apple’s community forums complaining they became stranded after incorrectly inputting their device password several times according to a Bloomberg report.
Lockout protocols are typical for gadgets. What’s not is having no home reset option for consumers. Vision Pro users say AppleCare representatives instead instruct bringing units to retail stores in person – where Genius Bar staff can factory reset them using special developer tools.
It’s an ordeal owners call unacceptable given the premium price tag. And many Apple store employees seem blindsided themselves. “He said Apple Support was really caught off guard by this,” one stranded customer posted of their call for help. “And [the rep] apologized for not being better prepared.”
“I called Apple Support again on the slim chance they’ve found a solution to this problem. The agent told me that they’ve gotten a bunch of calls today about this passcode bug and he’s had to deal with a lot of angry customers after telling them their only recourse is to return to the store. He said Apple Support was really caught off guard by this and apologized for not being better prepared.”
The situation spotlights puzzling oversights in Apple’s maiden VR voyage. Security is paramount for wearables holding sensitive personal data. But so too is ensuring customers aren’t unnecessarily impaired.
With the Developer Kit accessory running $300, the requirement creates additional barriers as well. And fuels perceptions of a product geared more toward programmers than average users in its launch state.
As with previous category-defining devices like iPhone and Apple Watch, hiccups are inevitable for trailblazing technology. Still for a company synonymous with elegant customer experiences, the Vision Pro’s clumsy password predicament seems distinctly out of character.
Early adopter headaches won’t likely slow Apple’s metaverse momentum long-term. But the company would be wise to let users easily self-rescue their pricey headgear straight out the gate. Even supporting home resets via Mac could help cut down trips to the Genius Bar.
Because when people invest thousands in virtual reality, the last thing Apple wants them seeing is reality.