Cupertino-based technology major Apple has finally started to take the virtual reality (VR) game seriously as rivals Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft steam ahead with their own projects of immersive 3D video or augmented reality.
According to a Financial Times report, Apple has hired Doug Bowman, who was a computer science professor at Virginia Tech and had been the director of its centre for human-computer interaction for around five years. Going by his academic profile, Bowman was researching on 3D user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments. The director also has experience in immersive VR and augmented reality like Microsoft’s HoloLens.
There are also other signs that goes to show that the Cupertino major was interested in the new technology. Last year, Apple filed several patents for smartphone-based VR headsers and acquired several companies like Emotient, which reads facial emotions, earlier last month. It had also bought over Meraio and Faceshift last year.
However, the company has come out with no products even after filing the patents and making the acquisitions. The hiring of Bowman is expected to be a move to build a headset of its own to new kinds of automotive controls and displays. The company has declined to comment about its VR operations.
Virtual reality, although in its nascent stages of development, has been growing in popularity and the only hurdle seems to be generating more content. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Samsung have already made major investments in the field. Companies like Lenovo, LeECO and Samsung have recently brought VR headsets in India.