Apple is reportedly creating an augmented reality device to go up against Microsoft’sHololens.
Apple didn’t look like it was interested in making the jump into augmented reality, however, the buzz about the quality of Hololens and Oculus Rift may have ignited their competitive spirit.
According to Verge, Apple has been working in secret and have acquired a number of VR firms and their plans started getting noticed after a top researcher, Doug Bowman, was hired.
Bowman was the Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech and had reportedly joined the company after a sabbatical.
“Besides, he was the lead author of 3D User Interfaces: Theory and Practices,” reportedIBTimes. “He also served as the general chair of the IEEE Virtual reality Conference in 2007-2008. Bowman has received a career award from the National Space Foundation for his work on 3D interactions. After hiring Bowman, Apple has recruited severalformer employees from Lytro, a Silicon Valley start-up.”
Apple has also acquired Flyby Media, an augmented reality startup company. This particular company may be an advantageous acquisition since they have previously worked with Google to developÂ the software for the 3D technology, Project Tango.
Apple has not released a statement regarding their shift to augmented reality tech or if they would be adding a consumer product like the Hololens and PlayStation VR.
The augmented reality technology market would be the next big thing once consumer devices step in to make it readily available to consumers at prices that are reasonable. While there are already a handful of brands that are willing to develop new virtual reality technology, it may take a few years before the majority of consumers are comfortable with the idea.
Microsoft Hololens, along with the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, are the first consumer-oriented devices that are coming out this year. Gamers are looking forward to getting to use the VR since adds to the gameplay experience making players feel like they are inside the game itself.