Headsets Delayed into 2024



[deleted by user]

The specs seem meh, at a price comparable to the Apple headset. I'm sorry to be blunt but how could it possibly be successful?


I don't want apple's nerfed consume based user experience with limited integrations in a desktop replacement headset. They'll deigns it releasable.only ship what actually works perfectly in the first revision. Like they did with the watch and the iphone. Yet android and linux exist so for some reason people want to have a slightly clunky future well before apple deigns it releasable.


It's going to be more of a general computer than Apple's. There is a market for that, like how System76 and Framework sell laptops even though Macbooks exist and are arguably nicer for the money.


The market for the entire VR industry is not that great to begin with. Apple might change this eventually or it might not. I just don't see how a small player today could hope to succeed where all existing big players struggle and even Apple might fail.

Also, I'm guessing it's much easier to put together a laptop from off-the-shelf components than to create a VR headset.


It's significantly harder to make the headsets. They wouldn't need to place this complicated order with Sharp, for example. But, it's also why reason they have an opportunity as a new manufacturer and have taken orders at a premium price. They need to ship this and grow to place successive parts orders, but I'd think they could sustain the business at a few thousand sales annually. That's already a small percentage of the VR market and awareness should grow significantly next year.


If you are not the size of Apple you dont need to have massive market success to be successful


I haven't been following SimulaVR and do see the appeal of an all-in-one platform. The costs of quality and performance do add up and I can't justify to myself investing in it. I would much prefer to separate the HMD like something closer to the Bigscreen Beyond form-factor and a CPU/battery that's independently upgradeable and not supported by my neck.


Yeah, understandable. For us it's a deliberate design decision to minimize the amount of moving parts (=hassle, things to get tangled in, etc.)


I bought in on the presale, and have been very happy with how you guys have been approaching this project. It's obviously an uphill battle to release this device, but I love the ambition and lack of compromise you guys have in creating a new form factor.

I think you are likely too early to market, making it a hard sell for a mass market in the short term. If you can survive long enough I think you can do well, however.


As someone involved in both the crypto and the VR space, why were the first testers crypto people rather than VR people?

It would have been a much easier pitch to those of us who already understand the caveats of this technology at present state, and we're already believers in the idea. Many VR people are using their current generation HMD's for productivity already despite the downsides.

It seems like it would have been a more obvious route to the type of people who are most likely to be your early adopters, and additionally avoids associating your operation with crypto which still carries a stigma.

I have a lot of respect for Vitalik, but I'd much rather hear the opinion of someone like Thrillseeker for a device like this.


Vitalik and Thor were both early preorderers of our headset (we had no connection to them prior). And we didn't have any explicit crypto angle here, but just reached out to them as vetted early enthusiasts, asking if they wanted to help test the headset as users. In a way, there's something pure about getting feedback from people who are interested in the product primarily as users (as opposed to them already being in the industry).

But we actually do have a discussion ongoing with ThrillSeeker about a headset test/video, and we hope it gets made :]


> As someone involved in both the crypto and the VR space, why were the first testers crypto people rather than VR people?

Because the Metaverse mantra is more linked to crypto than the VR space.


Simula wants nothing to do with the metaverse, so I'm not sure what you're getting at:



I remember running across simulavr a couple of years ago, and after Apple's announcement I went to check out what they are up to. I hope they get the funding they're looking for, because this is a product I'd love to see exist in the market.


I don't know if this is strictly a "rule" but from the places I've worked, it's been the case that given the capital/batch/order constraints of hardware, it's very difficult to make break even on less than 10,000 units.


With our current design, we break even at about exactly 1k units.


too late


On a positive note, given a16z's feedback, I'm sure they can find another firm/partner that would be willing to back them at this stage. They are definitely in a hard position, though. Reading this I doubt I'd put money in as a consumer until they have the capital to execute. Sounds like they really need 3-5MM to hit their objectives even though they only say 1.2MM.

I've also seen a16z invest in far less (pitch decks and hand-wave demos). So my read on the feedback is they've made too much progress on one front (enough to show a16z that they're not a compelling seed investment) but not enough progress on the other front (enough to warrant a PMF A round). Doesn't seem like the most fun spot to be in, and I know how hard this part of the stretch is. Good luck!


We've tightened up the numbers a bit, but it's pretty close to a honest amount. 4m would put us well into profitable S1 production + enough runway to develop the next iteration territory.

> I've also seen a16z invest in far less (pitch decks and hand-wave demos). So my read on the feedback is they've made too much progress on one front (enough to show a16z that they're not a compelling seed investment) but not enough progress on the other front (enough to warrant a PMF A round). Doesn't seem like a fun spot to be in.

That's how I feel as well, given feedback from other VCs we've applied at. Amplify told us roughly "too big for a seed, too small for a series A" after five meetings or so.


Bummer I missed the SAFE round. I would consider chipping in as an investor even though I wouldn't feel comfortable purchasing a preorder as a consumer. Wonder if you can structure your next round to include spots for people that missed the train...


We're still accepting SAFEs. Contact georges@simulavr.com for details.


2448x2448 per eye display resolution is unfortunately not sufficient for a real desktop work. I doubt Apple's 3k will be sufficient either. Linux seems cool though and it's essentially a NUC wrapped around one's head.


It is, though. I do real desktop work on a pair of XReal Airs and they're 1920x1080x2.

Besides which, being able to pan your vision around virtual monitors will make the resolution go a lot further.


I may be sufficient. SimulaVR has put in work early on to improve the experience. One example is font smoothing you can see in their demos.


Hey, nicely designed. A bit of a retro look but not tacky. I like the niche market you are aiming for (Linux hacker) and the work look impressive. I sound like an investor evaluating but I have no scratch to give. Just here to give encouragement and will root for your success


Like I mentioned in a related thread [1], I really want to see simulavr succeed. They started working on this stuff before anyone else did but one of my worries is that Apple and other big names are going to come in and establish the VR Computing market before the Simula one is launched.

[1] SimulaVR: Headsets Delayed (simulavr.com) 8 points by Philpax 1 day ago



speak of the devil, https://www.visor.com/ opened up pre-orders today, deliveries tbd 2024

Very close to the Vision Pro for 1/5 the price, acts more like a peripheral and works on the 3 major operating systems. It's (supposedly) also going to be side-loadable and maybe even more hackable, OpenXR compatible

It's by the folks who make the https://immersed.com/ app

MRTV interview from earlier today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ic_uqEGI18


I tried immersed... the latency is a killer (in the bad way)... the bandwidth is a killer... the compute required to re-encode the video is a killer... I gave up. It was easier to flat pack a monitor or now get a 4k 17" monitor...

I'm back to super pessimistic on this tech... I too want simula to ship but I keep also maxing out my laptop on ram and compute and cooling and battery...

I'm rooting for them but I can't help in a financially signifigant method


>the latency is a killer

>the bandwidth is a killer

It sounds like a problem with your network.

>the compute required to re-encode the video is a killer

Your graphics card should be encoding the video.


I was trying to recreate my desktop, I have 4 2560x1440 monitors and 1 4k core monitor. Even with direct connect on my occulus to my laptop with a 2nd wifi, I was getting 5-30ms latency and lots of hiccups. It wasn't pleasent, definitely not as pleasent as just setting up a travel dell 2560x1440 monitor and nothing on the new 4k 17" I just picked up for $300 on amazon.

The gpu on my laptop was also on fire and the machine was sluggish due to gpu issues, thermal issues, network issues.

It was also a less pleasant and less quality experience than real physical monitors. I also tried it with my index on the beast desktop I have that has those physical monitors turning the monitors off and putting in dummy plugs (same as laptop).

It sucked, my neck hurt, it was laggy, hard to position monitors which I had to do every time I set it up, and the resolution sucked compared to a physical monitor, and don't get me started on fots let alon comparing it to 43" 4k monitor.

I spent a decent amount of time in discord with immersed trying to get it to work. It's just not meant to be currently. And for the same price as a occulus, same weight, smaller footprint (the occulus is huge in a backpack, a tablet monitor is just and extra half inch of laptop), I get a much better experience. Also my neck doesn't hurt, I can see the world, and it's much higher res.


>before anyone else did

Not disputing your claim per se, but Google had a project called Daydream back at least as early as 2017 (though seems earlier) and rolled that into Area 120 projects. They canned it at some point in 2021 I believe.

Whereas SimulaVR seems to have started working on this in 2018 per their YC app (but perhaps earlier?) https://github.com/SimulaVR/Simula/wiki/YCW19-Application


I own a daydream, you use it by putting your phone in the visor and using the phone as the headset. It was fun until they started dropping support for everything, and it started to happen much earlier than 2021z

SimulaVR is creating a full computer built into a VR headset for production work.


Appreciate your support. From our perspective, the Apple headset is more an "iPad replacement" than a "laptop replacement".[1]

The Vision Pro is based on their iOS (iPad/iPhone) ecosystem for their 2D apps, so you won't be able to use powerhouse office apps. It seems instead more geared towards the passive consumption of information, entertainment, and casual gaming, whereas we're trying to build something that can realistically replace a (Linux) laptop.

I'm not sure what Apple is thinking strategically, but they're structurally incentivized to cannibalize their iPad sales over their macbook sales (since their iPads are their weakest product in their lineup in terms of sales).

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36326677


> The Vision Pro is based on their iOS (iPad/iPhone) ecosystem for their 2D apps, so you won't be able to use powerhouse office apps.

Creators can use the Vision Pro as their Mac's display, and/or run Office directly on Vision Pro.




that's a terrible alternative, the helmet has enough horsepower to run anything a Mac can run

this will be so annoyingly fiddly to set up, nobody is going to use it on a regular basis

why would somebody buy a "pro" device that only lets them VNC into their laptop?


Not if you're programming your apps in Unity :P


> this will be so annoyingly fiddly to set up

In the WWDC demo video, setting it up went like this:

Look at your Mac, and its desktop pops up in a new AR window.


Marketing video makes thing look easy



> that's a terrible alternative, the helmet has enough horsepower to run anything a Mac can run

The SimulaVR can't even run Office natively, right? The hobbyists who purchase it will need to use LibreOffice or run Office until emulation, correct?

In contrast, Vision Pro users will be able to run Microsoft Office natively, with an interface optimized for the device.

Where we don't disagree: For you and other folks who need a literal desktop (nosetop?) PC, SimulaVR is clearly the answer.


I know Microsoft Office was a big deal in 1998, but I don't think in 2023 as many people are clamoring for it anymore as you think they are.


Office is still huge in business and academia.


People would buy it because Apple. I sincerely hope Apple isn't this dumb though.

Luckily LG and Meta and Samsung and Google are not playing around and will force Apple's hand with the AVP or overtake Apple entirely.


Oh I agree that if headsets see any success in the next 5 years (I have my doubts after having owned and used many myself) then Apple will always be the "walled garden" alternative and capture a certain percentage of the market. But I think the "log into your laptop" feature they are pushing is not going to be a good experience, and is likely a feature they will never promote and will not invest any development effort into, after the initial launch.


For me personally, it’s appealing that it just provides a mirror to my existing MacBook. It gives me more flexibility on when to use glasses vs laptop screen, like if I need to take notes in a meeting/lecture hall.


Disagree, I think this is not a good read on Apple strategy and you may be heeding the wrong lessons in computing history.

1. The passive vs active framing applies primarily to non-Pro iPads. I don't think it can be reasonably argued the $3k Vision Pro is attempting to cannibalize low end iPads. iPad Pros are very different beasts that are designed for a particular type of creative output, and are very capable general purpose computing devices now.

2. There's no particular incentive to cannibalize iPad over Mac, its hard to fathom what dimension that makes sense on. They're happy to cannibalize any product, but their main MO is 'look what cool shit we can do with the latest tech' and Vision Pro is today's version of that. Apple is demonstrably way more interested in building out iOS/iPadOS and we've seen that over the past 10 years, to the point Mac users had to basically revolt to get attention.

3. Of course Vision Pro is based on iPad ecosystem, as its a far more modern set of conventions better suited to mixed modal input than Mac. That isn't a reflection of VP's purpose, but of engineering and design realities - it's far easier to grow iPad/iOS into a top tier spatial computing OS and ecosystem.

While MacOS is wonderful, it's really a product of a particular conception of computing, and shoehorning a 40 year old desktop OS paradigm into entirely new input modalities and ergonomic contexts makes little sense. The puck isn't going anywhere new, the desktop OS modality is baked. Apps will need to adapt to the wondrous new capabilities and constraints of the platform.

Looking at your presentation [1] it's clear the ergonomics are going to be a sticking point, which is a combined hardware & app ecosystem problem: the novelty of windows everywhere bumps up against the human factors / ergonomic fatigue constraints of moving one's head around around more than a few degrees (and whatever you do, don't optimize for looking up!), and app windows with tiny UI elements are going to be similarly fatiguing and unable to adapt to the promise and limitations in accuracy of gaze tracking.

There's a reason WinCE's desktop OS paradigms failed in PDAs whereas iOS succeeded - you need to reinvent the experience when you move modalities. I would argue the exact same thing will happen in AR/VR: sticking with a desktop OS paradigm is a losing proposition.

Just my 2c. Personally I really want to see a variety of offerings and possibilities in the market but I also want them to be based on sound reasoning and approach, which I go into a bit in this essay on category-defining products [2].

[1] https://simulavr.com/blog/seeking-investment/

[2] https://nickpunt.com/blog/category-defining-products/

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MS Office has been available for iOS for just over a decade (June 2013).[1] So it will be on Vision Pro at launch.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office#Mobile_versio...


> It seems instead more geared towards the passive consumption of information, entertainment, and casual gaming, whereas we're trying to build something that can realistically replace a (Linux) laptop.

FWIW, it appears that Apple themselves don't see it as that. They are focusing on consumption for the initial release, but there are clear plans to bring "full" macos apps to Vision Pro.

They haven't released everything, but what you need to know is in the category they're placing AVP: computer. They refer to it as a computer, repeatedly. Not a mobile device. And, all of their computers run Xcode. I would be very surprised if we don't hear more about that by next year.


provide tools that aid consumption is what apple does and does well... I think they lucked into create (software not creative) recently... linux gets there first every time. In a beautifully janky way.

but I'm sure I'll be downvoted into oblivion for daring question apple


Can you confirm they want to do that though?

I was suspicious that they are stupid enough to think that this cannibalizing Macbook sales is a valid reason to gimp it like they do the iPad.

However, this tech (AR/VR) is much much bigger than traditional computing and is going to replace the aforementioned and more.

So I sincerely hope that I can do development, pull up a terminal, an so on within the device. That's going to be extremely important I think to use this as a remote working machine (which was my hope for years).


> However, this tech (AR/VR) is much much bigger than traditional computing and is going to replace the aforementioned and more.

Commercial consumer VR has been available for the better part of a decade now and this doesn't seem even close to happening.


Changes like this go nowhere, then happen rapidly.

Price is too high, features too few, distinct advantages under compelling, and ergonomics too nomic ... until they aren't.

In other words, its a big change of form and function, not to mention the physics tradeoffs of these products, so it makes sense that the right combo is taking a while to fall into place.

If Apple customers, who have the shiny shells to shell out, fall in love with their devices, that will mean a lot.


> Price is too high, features too few, distinct advantages under compelling, and ergonomics too nomic

You just described the iPhone I.


A unhappy Bill Gates, and Apple’s happy iPhone 1 customers, felt differently.

Price was high, but low enough for what it did that Apple couldn’t make enough.

Low enough that a tiny computer/MP3 player company remade what a phone was and left huge phone manufacturers spinning.

Record sales growth, customer satisfaction & retention year after year after year.

They quickly vacuumed up the majority of profits and revenue for the entire industry long before they had significant marketshare.

That day is why Apple is flirting with $3T.

Samsung was the only competitor I can think of that was nimble enough not to get promptly hammered.

An iconic example of good fit.


I know. I was being ironic.


If they can “cannibalise” MacBook sales with something that costs 3x as much they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

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> While we expect consumers to be really excited about a VR takeoff in 2024

My guess is that there will indeed be a lot of excitement in 2024 (at least in Apple land) and then it's going to drop off again in 2025. That's not necessarily a terrible thing though.

Meta has sold something like 25 million headsets. The market is already bigger than many people realize and maybe it's big enough. It doesn't need to 10x and if it did, there's more than a small chance that kind of growth would end up being bad thing. Maybe a16z not biting means enshittification has been delayed.


Agreed that VR gaming is bigger than most people realize, but VR for productivity (to replace PCs & laptops) is still an untapped market. VR pixel density is now within one doubling of "human eye resolution", so it seems like now's the time for VR to be useful for this use case.

Apple's headset is really cool, but is being built over iOS for 2D apps, so isn't realistically going to replace someone's laptop as their primary computing device.[1]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=36326677


It’s not for me, but I’m still rooting for you. It feels like something that should exist.


So basically they’ve spent all the money without ever having a product to deliver and now they’re a juicero.




This seems like an admirably honest, reflective and eloquent report of a pain point in a tough new field. I don't see the need for the sneery dismissal.

I hope they get the support they need and succeed.

[deleted by user]