The company that took the most beautiful X-ray picture of Apple’s Vision Pro, the “father of iPod” also invested in it

Estimated read time 8 min read

I saw my death.

This is what Anna Bertha Ludwig said when she saw her own X-rays.

It was also the world’s first X-ray photo, allowing Ludwig to “see” her finger for the first time in a different world. The black mass on it was her wedding ring.

More than a hundred years have passed, and many of us today are still fascinated by X-ray images.

It makes everything familiar feel fresh, and for what we don’t understand, it is like a hidden key, opening doors that we never thought existed.

It’s no wonder that even when iFixit has shown every detail of the Apple Vision Pro through teardowns, technology bloggers are racking their brains to review this device. When the X-ray video of the Vision Pro is released, we can’t help but be attracted.

What can we see when looking at electronic products with X-rays?

In our Apple Vision Pro CT scan, we see a product that puts design before everything else.

Everything in the Vision Pro has been cut off to maximize interior space without compromising the exterior profile of the brushed aluminum frame and laminated glass front.

Lumafield, the publisher of this X-ray scan, wrote in an analysis article. It makes sense, but it’s not particularly new news. Until it is paired with the content of the X-ray scan…

Without dismantling the equipment and keeping it intact, X-rays allow us to see the Vision Pro’s exquisite engineering design and obsession with details in the most intuitive way.

Especially when this video also shows X-ray scans of Meta Quest Pro and Quest 3. In contrast, Meta’s products adopt a more traditional motherboard model, which is “time-tested and efficient, especially with off-the-shelf components.”

This “complexity and sophistication” and “simplistic directness” run through the rest of the two series of products.

For example, in the speaker part, the two “AudioPods” equipped with Vision Pro build a tight and precise component around the geometry of the user’s head and ears, while Meta Quest 3 appears to be more “economical”.

Sensors, cameras and chips in Vision Pro are compactly packed throughout the interior space.

The Meta Quest series uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform.

According to Lumafield’s analysis, there is no distinction between the two series of products, and the differences in their engineering designs more reflect their different design concepts and positioning:

One is to challenge the ultimate in experience and design, and the other is to make it affordable for as many people as possible while maintaining a certain experience.

If comparing Vision Pro vs Meta Quest using A pleasant experience.

Last November, Jon Bruner, Lumafield’s head of marketing, shared an X-ray comparison of the genuine AirPods Pro and two knockoffs on X:

Compared with copycat AirPods, genuine AirPods Pro uses a small button battery, which is smaller and safer. In contrast, counterfeit products use lithium batteries, which are not only less safe but also make the headphones bulkier.

Not surprisingly, the original AirPods are more compact and complex internally.


The differences between Apple’s three generations of AirPods are more intuitive under X-rays

Similarly, the seemingly identical real and fake MagSafe 2 power adapters show completely different internal structures when exposed to X-rays:

After this delightful visual journey, I couldn’t help but wonder where it all came from? Why do people use X-rays to scan electronic products? It’s all really fun, but there’s no reason it’s all really just for “fun,” right?

So I started to learn about Lumafield, the company behind these X-ray video photos, and unexpectedly I saw the name of Tony Fadell, the “father of the iPod.”

“X-ray vision”, a powerful tool for product design

As soon as I saw this scanner, I said, “When is the fastest I can invest in you?”

Because at the end of the day, it’s very difficult to imagine and understand the details of things that are made of atoms, especially when you have to take them apart and reassemble them every time.

Tony Fadell said in a video posted by Lumafield. He is an investor in Lumafield, a startup building industrial-strength scanners.

This decisiveness also comes from the “panic” he experienced when Apple was working on the iPod.

Fadell recalled that when the iPod Nano first came out, the team expected that people would carry this thin and small new device everywhere. In other words, they would also put the iPod Nano in their pants pockets and sit on it. Go down.

So they created a “butt test” – to see how the bending of the iPod Nano’s body affects the internal parts and operations after the user sits down.

But how can we see the difference without destroying the crime scene? Only X-rays are available.

We have used X-ray scanners before, but at this moment, X-ray scanners have finally become a “necessity”.

Indeed, when Apple launched the iPod Nano in 2005, there were already industrial-grade X-ray scanners on the market, but they were priced very high.

For a long time, those who can afford high-precision industrial CT scanners have been companies with extremely high accuracy requirements, such as aerospace companies or large medical equipment companies.

For these customers, they don’t need cheaper CT scanners, they need scanners with increasingly higher accuracy.

In fact, even Apple was finally willing to spend a lot of money to purchase its own CT scanner when it was designing the iPhone.

There has never been market pressure for the industry to bring down the price so that this technology can reach more people.

Bruner said in an interview.

But Eduardo Torrealba, the founder of Lumafield, saw that “ordinary” product design also requires the “perspective power” of X-rays.

Before starting his business, Torrealba spent most of his time making prototype products for companies. He encountered many situations where the products were “incorrect” and the methods of dismantling or sawing were too inefficient.

Therefore, he co-founded Lumafield in 2019 to slightly “downgrade” the industrial-grade technology to make both hardware and software more “agile.”

A one-year subscription for Lumafield’s Neptune scanner costs approximately US$54,000, and the purchase price of industrial equipment of the same level will range from US$750,000 to US$1 million.

In terms of software, Lumafield’s software can even be used directly on the web and provides various “paid functions” for product design, such as the function of specifically detecting where holes exist.

Although it has not been established for a long time, Lumafield has already accumulated many customers from different industries.

One of the typical cases that was put on the official website is L’Oreal.

Although the packaging design of a L’Oreal product passed traditional quality tests, it still had leakage problems.

It was not until an X-ray scan that it was discovered that there was a 100-micron (a human hair is about 70 microns thick) indentation in the bottleneck, which caused the leakage problem.

The sports shoe brand Saucony uses Lumafield’s CT machine to look at the performance of sports shoes. The pain points solved here are more “rough”.

It helps us reduce sample costs because we no longer have to cut the shoes open to inspect them. I’ve wanted this technology for 20 years.

said Luca Ciccone, director of product engineering at Saucony.

In Tony Fadell’s view, the significance of the popularization of this technology is not only to help designers find bugs, but also to change the design process and allow designers to “see” more.

Although all these technologies and applications are very practical, Lumafield’s indispensable “advantage” lies in communicating with the public.

As mentioned before, Lumafield will make very eye-catching videos in marketing, putting products that consumers like or are familiar with under X-rays, and outputting a completely different perspective.

At the same time, it also knows how to “chase hot spots”. When Stanley cups became embroiled in lead controversy, Lumafield was quick to follow, doing a round of X-ray analysis.

Even in the early days when Lumafield couldn’t be particularly high-profile, the company had already built a “Scan of The Month” website, sharing a scan of everyday things every month – Lego minifigures, Gameboys, Polaroids, coffee pots, etc. Everything has been put through perspective.

Our daily lives are filled with miracles of engineering

As curious engineers, we want to understand how beautiful the details of everything around us are.

I think this is why they attract us. The constantly improving and subversive technologies are exciting, and the daily life is equally fascinating.

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