Apple has a big team of experts secretly working on a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets, according to a new report. Its members apparently consist of employees poached from other companies as well as those added through strategic acquisitions. Most recently, Apple was seen buying Flyby, an AR startup which has a history with Google’s Project Tango platform.
Apple already has PrimeSense in its kitty along with Metaio and Faceshift. It has also brought on board folks from Microsoft’s Hololens team and ex-employees of Lytro. The tech giant’s enthusiasm for VR headsets is thought to have been sharpened after Oculus made it into the limelight. Of course, Oculus now belongs to Facebook who bought it for about $2 billion in 2014.
Financial Times reports that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said the technology was ‘really cool,’ amid news of the company’s slightly troubling iPhone sales growth, or the lack of it. From where we’re standing, it looks like the brand is keen to invest in the next big thing in order to retain its position in the market. There’s no concrete information on the VR headset in question.
It’s not even clear whether Apple intends to build a device with similar capabilities as the Oculus Rift or if it will settle for launching a Samsung Gear VR-type head-mounted display. We’re finding this story a little hard to swallow given that VR headsets are hardly as popular as Apple would like them to be. We’ll believe it when a prototype leaks.
Back in 2008, Apple had indeed filed a patent for a headset which utilizes the iPhone as a VR display. But we’re yet to see anything along these lines materialize.