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Apple Hires Leading Virtual Reality Researcher

Apple has hired Doug Bowman, one of the U.S.' leading virtual reality experts, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Bowman joined Apple after going on sabbatical from his job as a computer science professor at Virginia Tech.

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His experience spans both fully immersive VR, as used in Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive headsets, as well as augmented reality, where transparent visors such as Microsoft’s Hololens, Google Glass and secretive start-up Magic Leap mingle digital images with the real world still visible.
Bowman has been director of Virginia Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction for the past five years. He's also the lead author of the book "3D User Interfaces: Theory and Practice." His past experience also includes serving as a User Experience Consultant for Walt Disney Imagineering and honors like numerous IEEE awards for 3D user interfaces and technical achievements in virtual reality. Bowman's LinkedIn page had not been updated to reflect the hiring and has since been deleted.

In the past year, Apple has acquired three companies with experience in either augmented reality or virtual reality. It acquired augmented reality startup Metaio last may, real-time motion capture firm Faceshift last September and expression analysis startup Emotient a couple weeks ago.

It's unclear what Apple could have Bowman and its acquired companies working on, but there have been persistent rumors the company has been interested in VR. Apple has filed several patents for VR products, including video goggles, motion-sensing 3D virtual interfaces for iOS and 3D "hyper reality" displays. It's also been reported that the company has a "small team" working on virtual reality projects.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project


Top Rated Comments

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18 weeks ago
GET BACK TO MAKING COMPUTERS!
Rating: 24 Votes
18 weeks ago
Late to the party as per usual recently. Pro tip: VR needs great graphics cards, not 3 year old mediocre ones in your high end line.
Rating: 18 Votes
18 weeks ago
Still sitting and waiting until the day the Apple TV is no longer a hobby...
Rating: 9 Votes
18 weeks ago

GET BACK TO MAKING COMPUTERS!

They never stopped. Calm the **** down.

Apple made the iPod because MP3 players sucked

Apple made the iPhone because phones at the time sucked

Apple wants to make VR because why??

Because as a tech company, Apple would be a complete idiot not to try and get in on cutting-edge tech like VR.

Same reason they made an Apple Watch. All things considered, it's probably one of the better options besides the horrific price range and insistence on marketing a wrist-computer as "fashion".
Rating: 8 Votes
18 weeks ago
Apple made the iPod because MP3 players sucked

Apple made the iPhone because phones at the time sucked

Apple wants to make VR because why??

Just make your graphic cards good enough to handle this awesome third party hardware that is already light years ahead of you.
Rating: 8 Votes
18 weeks ago
My Rig is Oculus Rift ready and my pre-order was completed within 10 minutes of go live. Shipping will commence on March 28th. Apple just lost my money.

Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago

V.R.=3D.

I.e. D.O.A.


You have no idea.

Sadly for fanboys, Apple doesn't actually make a computer capable of pushing immersive VR.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago
If Apple are making a car, then windshield(windscreen) augmented reality would surely be one possible direction they would investigate.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago

GET BACK TO MAKING COMPUTERS!


They make the finest computers in existence
[doublepost=1453430899][/doublepost]It's the mystery and allure that's great. Apple won't make a bulky headset like other companies do. That's a ticket to failure. Nobody wants bulk... it's all about who does VR right
[doublepost=1453430934][/doublepost]

Still sitting and waiting until the day the Apple TV is no longer a hobby...

Your wait is over
Rating: 4 Votes
18 weeks ago

Still sitting and waiting until the day the Apple TV is no longer a hobby...

Just do like I did and buy an Xbox One, it plays real games like Forza 6 and you still get all the entertainment, never looked back.
I've still got my iPad for web browsing and stuff like that though.
Rating: 4 Votes

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