While there are some large global companies involved in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets, like Facebook with its acquisition of Oculus VR, HTC and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), tech giant Apple has been fairly quiet. Now that maybe likely to change as the lead audio engineer for Microsoft’s HoloLens AR head-mounted display (HMD) has been poached by Apple.
In a report by AppleInsider, Piper Jaffray Analyst Travis Jakel noticed that Nick Thompson who was HoloLens’ Audio Hardware Engineering Lead, from September of 2012, now lists via his LinkedIn page him being at Apple, a post he took up in July.
While another analyst, Gene Munster, revealed his thoughts in a research note to investors this week: “We believe AR audio is often thought of as not important or secondary to the experience, however, we believe positional audio is what sells the experience and convinces the user there is a real object in front of you or behind you. The ability to re-create sound coming from a distinct location and changes based on proximity and direction of the object should not be overlooked.”
He added: “We believe Apple’s early involvement in the space suggests the company is preparing for the next evolution of computing. Additionally, we believe Apple’s evolving fashion advantage means they can uniquely develop products that consumers will actually want vs. prototype style offerings today.”
Apple also acquired German AR firm Metaio earlier this year, which helps support claims the company is looking into the field of AR. VRFocus will continue to report on the latest news surrounding AR and Apple.