Apple has hired one of America’s leading authorities in augmented and virtual reality.
It’s an open secret that Apple is working on its own virtual reality project – a number of patent applications reveal as much – but so far we have yet to hear anything solid on the matter.
We do know that the company is hoovering up VR and AR talent, and the latest of these is Virginia Tech computer science professor Doug Bowman.
The Financial Times reports that Apple has hired Bowman after he went on a sabbatical from his position at Virginia Tech. Bowman’s research at the institute had focused on “three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments”.
Bowman has won a number of industry prizes for his work in recent years, and is highly regarded by his peers.
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Interestingly, Bowman’s expertise seems to span both virtual and augmented reality systems, which suggests that Apple will be in a position to compete with both the Oculus Rift and the Microsoft HoloLens.
Of course, Apple being Apple, it may not have a VR headset in mind at all. The company is also known to be investing heavily in an automotive project. Could it be looking to incorporate augmented reality into the heavily rumoured Apple Car?