A video of an Apple Vision Pro user running into a WiFi pop-up “wall” had redditors calling the moment a “Black Mirror-like experience,” and speculating about ways hackers and advertisers will use the impressively immersive features of the VR headsets.
The video, which was posted to r/virtualreality on Wednesday, shows an Apple Vision Pro headset wearer walking through the archway of an interior of the Yebisu Garden Place Tower Sky Lounge in Tokyo. As they go through the archway, a window prompting the headset wearer to log into a public WiFi network pops up, completely blocking their field of vision and stopping them in their tracks.
Despite the surprise, the headset wearer quickly dismisses the login screen. But the moment had redditors wondering what sorts of pop-up ads and screens they might encounter out in the wild wearing the headset.
“That’s why you don’t walk around with your devices auto connecting to every other device it can find a signal from,” pointed out u/Disastrous_Ad26.
But others reveled in the possibilities for hijinks with the technology.
“Imagine walking with vision pro and someone hacking/trolling by putting a jumpscare,” wrote u/KaHate.
“I would put open doorways on solid walls,” proposed u/feanturi.
“Or floor where there is void,” added u/erm_what_ somewhat more homicidally.
“Mixed reality haunted houses sounds devilishly awesome. Everyone else can get a regular experience, but bring in a Q3/AVP/whatever and you get extra spooks,” suggested u/elheber, referring to Meta’s Quest 3 and the Apple Vision Pro.
Other redditors worried about the potential for the technology to deliver a whole new level of intrusive advertising.
“It’s only a matter of time before these things start popping up with advertisements, once you connect to random wifi,” wrote u/GhostOrToast.
“Don’t give them ideas,” replied u/pyro1sm.
But advertisers don’t exactly need to be given any ideas here. According to a rundown of the advertising potential of the new Apple headsets from ExchangeWire, advertisers are already figuring out the best ways to take advantage of the new immersive experience people will be getting in products like the Vision Pro. According to an analysis of one experience by Unity, VR produced a 24% higher elevated heart rate, 44% more sweating, and a tripling in the type of muscle activation that happens when you smile.
The results for advertising when compared to traditional advertising were also significant, with 13.5% of users opting into a trailer for the horror movie Jigsaw, 3.7% of users clicking through on promotional placement, and 70% of people watching an entire 30-second trailer in VR, a number six times higher than with normal video ads.