Apple Hires Leading Virtual Reality Researcher

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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.

    Article Link: Apple Hires Leading Virtual Reality Researcher
  2. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    Still sitting and waiting until the day the Apple TV is no longer a hobby...
  3. killawat macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2014
  4. Porco macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2005
    If Apple are making a car, then windshield(windscreen) augmented reality would surely be one possible direction they would investigate.
  5. pat500000 macrumors 68040


    Jun 3, 2015
  6. RockSpider macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    Just do like I did and buy an Xbox One, it plays real games like Forza 6 and you still get all the entertainment, never looked back.
    I've still got my iPad for web browsing and stuff like that though.
  7. TheFluffyDuck macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2012
    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.
  8. RockSpider macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    That's funny.
  9. maceric macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2015
    So, I love that they have lots of passion for making new things. But oculus rift, hololens and morpheus are all ahead of Apple in their demographic's awareness. And Apple is NOT going to get the xBox population. Or PS4… They have been late in the game for Apple TV... Maybe they will create something like they did with the iPod - it was not the first MP3 player, but it was the best. I just wish they'd make the Mac better, stronger, faster, etc.
  10. JimmyHook macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2015
    They make the finest computers in existence
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2016 ---
    It's the mystery and allure that's great. Apple won't make a bulky headset like other companies do. That's a ticket to failure. Nobody wants bulk... it's all about who does VR right
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2016 ---
    Your wait is over
  11. sully54 macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2012
    a virtual reality device could be classified as a computer.
  12. maxsix macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    It would be interesting to know why Apple has ignored VR for so long.
  13. unobtainium macrumors 65816

    Mar 27, 2011
    Apple TV should be their VR device. Build a really nice, comfortable headset, beef up the Apple TV a bit, and turn it into the Nintendo Wii of Virtual Reality. (E.g. not the best specs, but a fun experience for the whole family, as opposed to the hardcore VR tech from Sony, Oculus, etc.)
  14. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    That was my first thought – an AR windshield HUD for the Apple Car.

    I mean sure, they may be interested in VR for a future version of the AppleTV, but Apple has seemed really uninterested in high-end gaming, and as TheFluffyDuck noted, VR requires graphics power that Apple just hasn't been shipping in their machines. It's actually really disappointing, as for a while we were getting ports of recent PC games, but as Mac hardware slips further and further in graphics performance, PC game studios are now ignoring the Mac again. Anyway, even if they did ship an AppleTV with amazing graphics performance, VR seems too exclusionary an experience for Apple. It's hard for me to imagine them actually selling a head-mounted display unless they could make it very unobtrusive. I think they're more likely to pursue AR or perhaps holographic displays.
  15. Njchad macrumors newbie


    Jan 21, 2016
    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.
  16. Swazaloo macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Apple has never really bean first with anything. Usually just the first to get it right.

    And it's true you need a really high-end card today, but in a few years they will be common place.

    Here is a statement from Oculus:

    "The recommended spec will stay constant over the lifetime of the Rift. As the equivalent-performance hardware becomes less expensive, more users will have systems capable of the full Rift experience." Source.
  17. JPIS macrumors regular

    May 28, 2014
    Great hire. If Apple din't get him then Elon or Google would have. Big whup
  18. Pakaku macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    They never stopped. Calm the **** down.

    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".
  19. bdkennedy1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2002
    What do I know? But I feel Apple doesn't have a VR goal. They are just snapping up talent and companies to keep other companies from getting them. I think Steve Jobs' vision went as far as the iPad. It took him over 20 years to achieve that goal and now we wait to see what happens next. I think we're in for a long quiet period in technology.
  20. pat500000 macrumors 68040


    Jun 3, 2015
    They are slowing down.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2016 ---'s more like a toy than far i mean. I was talking about mac pro.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2016 ---
    lol I'm glad you got the sense of humor. I was just pointing out that they are drifting away from doing what were known for ...computers....and i guess iphones..(sigh).
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2016 ---
    I think cyclops from x-men will sue apple for copyright. WHere's Dr. Xaivier?
  21. DUCKofD3ATH macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2005
    Universe 0 Timeline
    Coming soon: EMOTICONS IN THREE DEE!
  22. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    My Rig is Oculus Rift ready and my pre-order was completed within 10 minutes of go live. Shipping will commence on March 28th. Apple just lost my money.

    Attached Files:

  23. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    Not so. Anyone who was around at the time thought Blackberrys were about the greatest thing ever invented.

    I know, right? Because the market is saturated with like 100 million people walking around with VR headsets, right?
  24. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    I agree. We haven't witnessed anything ground breaking after the iPad. Still waiting for a true game changer from Tim Cook. This is what happens when the management gets old and runs out of ideas. There is no true visionary at the helm. 2015 was such a predictable year and I don't see any huge surprises for 2016; just revisions to the current lineups. Nothing new and exciting.
  25. Benjamin Frost macrumors 68020

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England

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