Zeb Chadfield, founder and finishing artist at post house The Finish Line, has been taking the Apple Vision Pro for a spin to see how the new tech could be used in a professional finishing environment. Here are his first impressions.


When the Apple Vision Pro went on sale, I was sat at the ready to get my order in. I wanted to ensure that we could get one on launch day. It became available on the 2nd of February in the US only; fortunately, I was able to scan my head from the iOS Apple Store, and with some help from the Vaudeville office in LA, we managed to get our hands on a unit on day one.

I have been interested in augmented reality, which for the Vision Pro, Apple are referring to as spatial computing since first hearing of Magic Leap. I’m not going to get bogged down in the history or much-contested terminology here, but it goes without saying that as a picture-obsessed person, this technology is something I’ve been following closely but honestly didn’t expect to see working for a few more years.

Our core business is picture finishing. We designed The Finish Line coming out of the previous recession to ensure that lean production budgets didn’t mean the images we delivered needed to be compromised. With that in mind, a large part of our R&D is devoted to avoiding traditional real estate investment while producing perfect environments for our talent to work in, on kit that is unmatched. Considering this, it becomes quite easy to envisage the potential of a device that you can wear on your head in any location and consistently create a perfect environment, with displays as large or as close as you might want them. For a client to put on a matching headset and be able to conduct a review from anywhere in the world in a cinema environment, watching the review on the equivalent of a 100-inch screen live with our Finishing Artists working from another location, is revolutionary.

Extended further, what if an exec or director was able to watch a live feed or dailies from home in LA from a shoot in the UK again with a cinema-sized experience that would usually be considered unaffordable on even the biggest budget films? Or someone in QC being able to zoom right in on the lower left corner of the screen to check something in real time in their own environment while a live review is taking place at the same time with production elsewhere.

As you might expect, the big thing for us is image accuracy. Fortunately, Apple has managed to do something that I thought was impossible; consistently producing displays for consumers with close to professional-level accuracy. Remote reviews on iPad Pro have now become commonplace, and Apple has even added a reference mode to the devices to further increase the consistency. The displays in the Vision Pro are no exception. Packing 23 million pixels into their custom micro-OLED displays is hard to even comprehend, but to do that with image accuracy at scale absolutely blows my mind, and it’s only going to get better with every version.

A Few More Initial Thoughts

  • I figured it would be too big and heavy for kids, so experimented with my 5-year-old daughter. That was a mistake! She had no trouble with it, learned to use it faster than me, and now I just have her saying, “Can I use the iVision Pro?” all day.
  • I thought I’d only want to use it on my own, and it would never be a social thing, but the first time I pulled up some photos to look through, I immediately wanted my wife in there with me to look through them together.
  • I think shared experiences in the Vision Pro will someday be amazing. If I could teleport myself to New Zealand to sit with my family and watch a movie or look at pictures with them, it would be life-changing.
  • The first time I went into one of the “environments”, I gasped; it actually took my breath away, and the stress I was holding onto dissipated as if I was actually sitting by a lake. It was confusing but nice.
  • I used the f-word when I first enabled the cinema; you can choose to sit in the middle, back, or front and watch from a balcony or ground level. It’s a very nice time!
  • I do think the weight needs to come down by at least half for mass adoption.
  • I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like 5 years from now, but I believe now more than ever that it’s going to have a bigger market than anyone might think.

And yes, I wrote this all on a massive display floating over a lake, listening to the latest album from ‘The Smile’ in incredible spatial audio. You won’t feel it through the video, but when you experience this firsthand, you will start to realise the immense potential.

Jon Creamer

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