The virtual reality space is all set to heat up with Apple reported to have set up a team of ‘hundreds of employees’ to work on VR technology. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing endsAlso Read - iPhone selling in LG stores? Apple is apparently in talks for a new deal
The said team has been created through ‘calculated acquisitions and the poaching of virtual and augmented reality experts’, FT reports. The team is said to have built several prototypes with different configurations in the past several months. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android
This report comes after Apple reportedly completed acquisition of a startup called Flyby Media. The technology created by this startup lets smartphones scan objects in the real world, and the startup is also credited with working closely with Google on Project Tango.
Besides FlyBy Media, Apple has acquired companies like FaceShift, Metaio, and even PrimeSense dating back to 2013. It has also poached VR experts from rival companies like Microsoft and Lytro, and recently hired Doug Bowman, a computer science professor from Virginia Tech and leading VR expert.
Companies like Microsoft, Facebook-owned Oculus, Google, Samsung and even HTC have made strides in the virtual reality space, and it is little wonder that Apple is now showing interest too. As per FT, Apple had dipped its feet in VR under former CEO Steve Jobs, but the project was scrapped for not being advanced enough.
At a time when iPhone growth is showing signs of slowing down, it is not surprising to see Apple looking beyond smartphones. It is after all strongly rumored to be working on autonomous cars as well. At the recent quarterly earnings, CEO Tim Cook was asked about virtual reality, and he had an interesting answer — “In terms of VR, I don’t think it’s a niche. It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”