Apple Vision Pro performs better in noisy environments according to a developer

Apple Vision Pro performs better in noisy environments according to a developer
Almost five months after its release, the XR (Extended Reality) industry is still finding cool and odd tidbits about the Apple Vision Pro. Being Apple’s first foray into the industry, the company made a lot of unconventional decisions during the headset’s design. One of these, it turns out, makes the Vision Pro perform better in noisy environments.

Max Thomas, a developer of the ALVR app to stream VR games on Vision Pro, made the discovery. In a tweet I would rather not link for the sake of polite language, Thomas revealed that the Vision Pro sets its fan speeds according to their noise. As in, the headset uses its mic to hear its own fans and if they’re too loud it slows them down.

As Thomas found out, blasting white noise made the headset not throttle its cooling because the fans could not be heard over the noise. Thus, a noisy environment netted Thomas much better performance from the headset.

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The concept makes sense in my opinion. Apple wants to retain a premium experience in quieter environments. However, this does also give credence to Hugo Barra’s claim of Apple Vision Pro being an over-engineered devkit. Apple is sacrificing performance for style.

Devices use fans to cool themselves down when they start reaching really hot temperatures. The hotter they get, the faster their fans spin and the louder they sound. Intentionally slowing down fans is bound to worsen performance because devices throttle their processing power in case of insufficient cooling so they don’t melt.

I’m sure Apple designed the Vision Pro to not literally melt on your face, but the company clearly gave performance metrics less priority. It’s still one of the best AR headsets on the market today. But this, alongside its cost and lack of game support, are big points against buying one.
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