Speculations are running high regarding Apple’s plans to develop its own augmented reality system. As Apple recently hired a lead engineer from the team of Microsoft HoloLens, the speculations increased. The man in question is Nick Thompson whose change in employment was spotted by Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray. Thompson was reportedly leading the audio hardware engineering team for the augmented reality project of Microsoft HoloLens.
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His LinkedIn profile shows that he has been working in Apple since July. He had worked for Apple earlier also for 7 years, following which he joined Microsoft. Earlier in Apple, he worked on audio features of Apple TV and Mac products.
The Report Given by Gene Munster
Gene Munster wrote in a research note:
“Based on recent acquisitions of augmented reality companies, hiring of a key Microsoft HoloLens employee, and conversations with industry contacts within the virtual and augmented reality spaces, we believe Apple has a team exploring the AR space.
While augmented reality is likely 10 years away from broader consumer adoption, we believe it has the potential to be as profound a technology platform as the smartphone today.”
Other Instances Hinting at Apple’s Interest in AR and VR
There have been several other instances which have hinted at Apple’s interest in AR and VR. Earlier this year, the company acquired Metaio, an augmented reality startup based in Germany.
Before that in 2013, Apple had acquired PrimeSense, an Israel-based 3D sensing company, which is popular for designing the first Kinect motion-sensor for Xbox 360.
Apple also had plans to bring an augmented reality feature for its Maps app along iOS 9. With this AR feature, users would be able to use the Maps application and point their phone’s camera towards a particular point of interest or business to see an augmented view of related information.
Another hint that was obtained was from the recent job listings that showed that Apple is looking for hiring engineers with augmented and virtual reality experiences.
Right now, it’s all about speculations. However, it seems that with all the hiring and new technology in place, Apple has got the building blocks to create its own virtual or augmented reality platform. At the least, it can integrate these technologies into the products which are currently in the market.
What do you think?
Do you think Apple can make it big in the AR or VR area? Should more companies start developing augmented reality systems? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source – wtvox.com