Orlando doctor excited for Apple Vision Pro’s potential to grow XR

By most accounts, the Apple Vision Pro’s release roughly two weeks ago was a success.

The tech giant has said that it has sold out of its initial run of what has been estimated to be between 160,000 and 180,000 units.

One Orlando doctor, an admitted technology enthusiast who jumped on board immediately, said he has been impressed by the headset so far.

But Dr. Robert Masson, a neurosurgeon with his own private practice in Central Florida, says the headset’s true value could be in building unprecedented buzz around an emerging technology.

“This is going to inject a tremendous amount of energy into the XR space, across the board,” he said. “It will excite consumers and improve fluency with the technology.”

Masson has the pedigree to provide his outlook.

The founder of the Masson Spine Institute has long been a tech-forward-thinking professional, being an early adopter of emerging technologies.

It runs in the family.

His grandfather was a World War II aviator and instructor for fighter pilots.

So far, the use case Masson has dabbled in has been mostly about team logistics and organization.

Masson uses the Apple Vision Pro – and other headsets like the Microsoft Hololens 2 – as a way to train his team on preparation sequencing and surgery organization visually. The work has led to an effort to build a digital twin for surgeons.

For instance, one experience walks a scrub technician through a step-by-step process of a surgical procedure, so they understand the next step at all times during actual surgery.

Masson said the release of Apple Vision Pro could be looked back on someday as a pivotal moment in the technology’s history, especially considering the company’s deep penetration in tech-based consumer markets.

“It will normalize XR in a way that only Apple can,” he said. “It will really excite the whole process and the whole workplace. The Hololens felt like a foreign, brand-new product. But there was familiarity with the Apple Pro immediately. That was infectious.”

Initial reviews on the Apple Vision Pro have been typically mixed, with some lauding the tech giant and others returning the product and being loud about it on social media.

But Masson has no plans to do either, instead settling in to explore ways to optimize the use of any piece of hardware he can get his hands on.

He has long brought a deep curiosity into anything he does, including the surgical environment.

“I’m an explorer,” he said. “I flew for 40 years. I race cars with my kid. That is what I do. I’m not a typical surgeon.”

“I’m not a fanboy of anything until I pressure test it,” he said. “But, historically, I have always had incredible respect for the way Apple iterates products from a human-use perspective.”