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.

apple_patent_video_goggles

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 Glasses

Top Rated Comments

pat500000 Avatar
65 months ago
GET BACK TO MAKING COMPUTERS!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheFluffyDuck Avatar
65 months 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.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
furi0usbee Avatar
65 months ago
Still sitting and waiting until the day the Apple TV is no longer a hobby...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Njchad Avatar
65 months 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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pakaku Avatar
65 months 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".
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
65 months ago
If Apple are making a car, then windshield(windscreen) augmented reality would surely be one possible direction they would investigate.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...