While major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Samsung and others have been agressivelly pursuing virtual reality (VR) expansion, seeing it as the next dominate for of media and entertainment, Apple has been a lot slower and far more cagey about its VR plans. VRFocus reported back in November that the Cupertino firm had quietly purchased Swiss motion capture startup Faceshift for an undisclosed amount, and now the company has added a new member of staff to its roster.
Apple has hired professor Doug Bowman, a top researcher in VR from Virginia Tech reports the Financial Times. Bowmans research has focused on “three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments”. And his experience includes both VR, like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive head-mounted displays (HMDs) and augmented reality (AR) like Microsoft’s Hololens and Google Glass headsets.
Apples continued acquisitions and patent filing does show a strong interest in the emerging VR market and this last hire only goes to confirm that, but as of yet it has made no announcements for its plans for the industry. Analysts have speculated the firm maybe designing its own HMD or have other ideas but as yet it’s still a mystery.
With the launch of the major headsets from Oculus VR, HTC and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), Apple maybe biding its time to see how this first half of 2016 pans out.
VRFocus will keep you updated with all of Apples VR and AR plans as new details emerge.