Like many of you, I watched and listened to the Keynote that kicked off Apple’s World Wide Development Conference on June 5.

Frankly, I was blown away by the introduction of the Apple Vision Pro device. It undoubtedly has some great attributes as a consumer product (gaming, photos, movies, and sports viewing). But in the long run, it also has the potential power to disrupt the business and legal community in perhaps profound ways.

I know; I have heard all the naysayers. People won’t want it. It’s too immersive; it won’t work. It’s just an expensive gadget to supplement what other Apple products— like desktop computers, laptops, and iPads—already to some extent do. And the price ($3599) is just too damn high for a toy to watch movies on.

The Vision Pro is not a gadget to use with existing computers. It is a new form of computer that could replace much of what we use now

But this criticism may miss the point. The Vision Pro is not a gadget to use with existing computers. It is a new form of computer that could replace much of what we use now. Both at home. And in the office. Just like the iPhone changed how we think of and use mobile devices, so will Vision Pro change how we think of and use our computers.

Most of us have a laptop or desktop and a monitor at home. (Or two). Many of us have a more sophisticated and better setup at the office. But the Vision Pro has the capability to be your one—and only—computer. And because it allows you to see various screens at once and in large sizes, it will not only replace a laptop and desktop but your monitors as well.

In addition, Vision Pro could serves as a sophisticated communication tool, allowing you to see and interact with others remotely in a better and more realistic way than now. No more Brady Bunch screen views. Instead, more life-size and life-like ability to see people. In addition, to the robust video capabilities, Vision Pro incorporates spatial audio so that the sound will come from where the people with which you communicate appear to be.

For those who didn’t see or hear the Keynote, here are some bullet points about the device courtesy of the Apple Press Release:

  • Vision Pro is a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by natural and intuitive inputs— a user’s eyes, hands, and voice. 
  • Vision Pro lets users interact with digital content in a way that feels like it is physically present in their space.
  • The Pro’s design ensures every experience feels like it’s taking place in front of the user’s eyes in real-time.
  • The operating system features a three-dimensional interface that frees apps from the boundaries of a display so they can appear side by side at any scale, anywhere.
  • Vision Pro will enable users to be more productive, with infinite screen real estate, access to apps, and new multitasking methods. 
  • With support for keyboards and trackpads, users can set up a complete workspace and bring the capabilities of a laptop into Vision Pro wirelessly, creating a large, private, and portable display with crisp text.
  • Video calls can take advantage of the room around the user, with everyone on the call reflected in life-size tiles with audio that sounds as if participants are speaking right from where they are positioned.
  • The three-dimensional interface can make digital content look and feel present in a user’s physical world. The device will respond to natural light and shadows, allowing the user to understand scale and distance better. 

Who needs an office when you can carry the office with you?

In short, Vision Pro has the potential to become your one and only computer. It will allow you to do things better and more efficiently from anywhere and everywhere. Who needs an office when you can carry the office with you? And Apple claims that the reduced latency the device enables will reduce the nausea that sometimes accompanies the usage of immersive devices. 

Yes, the device is expensive. But from a business standpoint, the price doesn’t seem that high.

Consider the cost of all the computing equipment provided to business users today, especially in the office. This equipment may typically include a desktop, a laptop, and multiple monitors. Vision Pro could replace all of these. (Vision Pro was not the most expensive Apple product demoed at the Keynote, by the way. That honor belongs to a desktop coming in at $6,999. Yet few are claiming that the cost of that device is too high for what it does).

Yes, today’s version raises some questions. But Apple will no doubt improve the offering in short order as well as reach some price accommodations. And for those who don’t think this thing will fly, remember when Apple first offered the iPhone, the iPad, the Watch, Airpods. Each of these has become ubiquitous. These devices have reached almost universal use not only by consumers but are also considered necessities by most business people. And even lawyers.

For legal, Vision Pro may soon offer a better computing experience at a lower overall price. It will make it easier to work with documents, for example.

I talked to Brett Burney about Vision Pro recently. Brett is owner of Burney Consultants and co-host with Jeff Richardson of the excellent In the News weekly podcast. Brett and Jeff are two of the most knowledgable people I know when it comes to Apple products and legal uses.

Brett put the opportunities Vision Pro offers lawyers in historical context. “I remember the first time I hooked up a second monitor to my computer and was enthralled by how much more productive I was when my work wasn’t constrained to a single 15 inch rectangle. I also remember the first time I was able to physically touch and interact with a web browser on my phone without a mouse, which is second nature today. If the Vision Pro can further unfold our digital computing space with unique ways to physically interact with digital content, then science fiction is even closer to today’s reality.”

In addition, the impact of Vision Pro on remote workability could be even more profound. Now, one advantage to working in the office is better and more robust computing equipment. Vision Pro may change that. You have an office you take with you wherever you go that’s just as good if not better. 

Vision Pro can replace much of what we think should occur in person

And since you take it with you, it changes the office dynamic altogether. The best version of your office will be your Vision Pro. The need to have a physical office and be present in it is reduced.

The need to be in a physical place like a courtroom is diminished. The need to travel to take depositions, meet clients, or have “face-to-face” meetings will be substantially reduced. Vision Pro can replace much of what we think should occur in person.

As a communication tool, it will offer a more life-like experience blurring the line between what we consider remote communications and what we think of as in-person. It will lead to more accessible and better remote proceedings like depositions and court proceedings.

The biggest challenges lawyer raise to remote depositions and hearings are that they can’t assess body language. But with Vision Pro, people will appear more life-size and life-like, making the ability to evaluate that body language better and less challenging. 

Yes, many law firms long for the past with knee-jerk demands that lawyers be in the office four days per week. (In the short run, can demands for five days be far behind?).

But Vision Pro may even further erode much of the reasoning management relies on to demand that lawyer professionals clock into a physical office to do their work. It’s already a bit of an absurdity that people must show up at an office four days a week to do just what they could do at home. With Vision Pro going to a physical office may become an anachronism. 

When I was a young lawyer, lawyers (especially associates) were expected to be in the office on Saturdays and even Sundays. The reason was all the stuff necessary to do our work was in the office and no place else. And because that’s what older lawyers had to do. ( During the interview process, partners would always say something like, “We have good office attendance on Saturdays and weekends.” Translation: your ass better be here on Saturdays and weekends).

In many firms, associates are now less valued on how many Saturdays they are physically in the office and more evaluated on their work quality and the number of hours they bill

In the digital world, we all gradually realized that most of the weekend work could be done remotely. In many firms, associates are now less valued on how many Saturdays they are physically in the office and more evaluated on their work quality and the number of hours they bill. This shift came as technology improved to the point that office attendance on the weekends was no longer necessary for work to get done. Vision Pro will take this reality to a whole new level.

Brett put it well, “Watching the demo of Apple’s Vision Pro immediately made me think of every future-facing science fiction show I’ve seen from Star Trek TNG to The Expanse to Minority Report – I just kept thinking the fiction part is becoming reality (much like Dick Tracy’s watch).”

Get ready.