Apple Hires NASA Augmented Reality Expert Jeff Norris

Apple has hired Jeff Norris, an augmented reality expert who founded the Mission Operations Innovation Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, reports Bloomberg.

Norris has reportedly joined Apple as a senior manager working on the augmented reality team led by Mike Rockwell, who formerly ran Dolby Labs. The team is said to be working on the previously-rumored augmented reality smart glasses as well as AR features for future versions of the iPhone.

Prior to joining Apple, Norris worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he was employed since 1999. Along with founding the Mission Operations Innovation Office, he founded the JPL Ops Lab for developing human-system interfaces for mission operations, and he led multiple projects focused on human-system interaction with an emphasis on virtual and augmented reality.

On his website, Norris features a speech he gave on augmented reality and Nasa's JPL Ops Lab, much of which was focused on augmented reality headsets and their uses.


Under Norris' leadership, the JPL Ops Lab provided the Microsoft HoloLens to astronauts onboard the International Space Station and developed software for virtually working on Mars with the HoloLens.


For the last couple of years, Apple has taken a deep interest in augmented and virtual reality, and is said to have a large team of employees working on the technologies and exploring ways they could be used in future Apple products.

Apple has been working on both virtual reality headsets and augmented reality smart glasses, with the aim of launching the latter in 2018. We've also heard rumors suggesting augmented reality functionality could be incorporated into the iPhone, perhaps as early as the iPhone 8 set to be released this September.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed his excitement about augmented reality several times in recent months. "I think AR is that big, it's huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives," he said in February of 2017.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago

Never
A
Straight
Answer

That's NASA.

How do I downvote you?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
After Google's failed attempt at AR (Google Glass) and VR (Daydream), after Occulus and HTC failed commercially, Samsung is using their passive helmets as a "pre-order bonus gift"... Apple can take the opportunity and create a real market with AR.

It is time for the platform grown-ups to fight: Apple vs Microsoft
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
I'm sure Tim Cook will put him on making new stickers for iOS 11
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago
they couldn't figure out how to make the iPhone thinner so they're making glasses that will make your iPhone look thinner.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

After Google's failed attempt at AR (Google Glass) and VR (Daydream), after Occulus and HTC failed commercially, Samsung is using their passive helmets as a "pre-order bonus gift"... Apple can take the opportunity and create a real market with AR.

Yep. it always takes Apple to figure out how to do it right. The others throw in the kitchen sink without understanding how the consumer will use it. But they can thump their chest and say ‘We have a kitchen sink!”
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

I'm sure Tim Cook will put on him on making new stickers for iOS 11

Almost as witty as another emoji joke.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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