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Apple has a secret team working on virtual reality technology

Apple has a secret team working on virtual reality technology

Apple Water Cooler
January 29, 2016

Apple’s interest in virtual reality technology is definitely a reality.

According to a new report from the Financial Times, Apple has been secretly assembling a large team tasked with exploring VR devices similar to the pictured Oculus Rift and Microsoft’s Hololens.

The team has already been building prototype headsets. Here’s more from the report:

The secret research unit includes hundreds of staff from a series of carefully targeted acquisitions, as well as employees poached from companies that are working on next-generation headset technologies including Microsoft and camera start-up Lytro, according to people familiar with the initiative.

The company’s latest acquisition in the area is Flyby Media, an augmented reality start-up that lets mobile devices “see” the world around them. Flyby’s team worked closely with Google in developing software for its 3D positioning technology Project Tango.

A new frontier?

During Apple’s quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said that he thought VR technology isn’t a niche and “it’s really cool, and has some interesting applications.”

And earlier this month, news leaked that Apple hired virtual reality expert Doug Bowman.

Apple has been toying with VR for a number of years, filing a large number of patents with different takes on the technology.

Even though Apple recently recorded the most profitable quarter by any publicly traded company in history, Wall Street is still looking for signs that the growth can continue. And at least for me, an Apple designed virtual reality headset sounds a lot more interesting (and cheaper) than any Apple Car.

For other news today, see: Apple may be working with Hollywood on its own TV shows, Apple no longer streaming iTunes Radio for free, and Apple reportedly working on new wireless charging tech for iOS devices.

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