Apple is, according to one analyst, expected to work hard on developing its own virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) products throughout 2016, eventually bringing something to the market in the next few years.
Daniel Ives, of FBR & Co., is the analyst with this opinion: in a note to investors sent this week, Ives argued that Apple will be “very aggressive” in developing its own virtual reality and/or AR products throughout 2016. Through doing so, Ives expects Cupertino to explore both “organic and acquisitive means,” indicating that Apple could well be looking to acquire one or several companies in the coming months.
Of course, the development of products including the Oculus Rift (pictured above) has placed significant consumer attention on virtual reality technology. And Apple hasn’t been ignoring this trend; in fact, as we explained over a year ago, Cupertino has been hiring both VR and AR engineers with particular experience in gaming. We said at the time:
Apple is also looking for a “VR/AR Programmer” with knowledge in game engine development using Unity and Unreal, “to build software and tools that use VR and AR to push the state of the art to enable development of Apple’s next generation of products.”
There’s also a new posting for a “Game Engineer” who will work with VR/AR hardware and 3-D graphics development to “develop software combining state-of-the-art physics-based world simulation, visuals and Virtual Reality” for Apple’s next-generation products.
So, according to Ives, Apple is expected to ramp up its efforts next year; he also believes, as we do, that VR/AR should work perfectly alongside iOS devices. Already, Cupertino has made a number of acquisitions and owns a range of patents which relate to the technology.
Of course, aside from gaming, augmented reality in particular could work brilliantly alongside the iOS Maps application; virtual reality, on the other hand, might complement the Apple TV and tvOS well.
If Ives is right, expect to hear a lot more about Apple’s VR/AR plans throughout 2016.