Apple missed the bus when other manufacturers took on gaming consoles as part of their production expansion. Apple has therefore had its foot out of that market for a long time and it would then seem that Apple may not be interested in entering the virtual reality world as well as they do not have gaming consoles to pair up with the VR technology. Contrary to this assumption, Apple has made some strides in catching up with virtual reality.
Signs of Apple’s work on virtual reality
In January, Apple hired Doug Bowman who is a well known leading researcher in virtual technology. This is a sign that Apple has reignited the chance of having a virtual reality device or headset such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Hololens from Microsoft.
This is a step in the right direction as virtual reality has now become more mature and refined. Apple had already been rumored to have some developments on virtual reality through the leadership of co-founder Steve Jobs. There were some patents taken in the 2000’s but the prototypes were abandoned as the technology was then considered to be too raw or not mature enough for the market. This hire, coupled with the setting up of a secret research unit into VR is a step in the right direction.
Acquisition of VR Companies
To indicate that Apple has been working on entering the virtual reality game, there have been some tell-tale signs through the acquisitions that Apple has made. In 2013 Apple acquired Prime Sense at $345 million. This is the company known for developing the first Xbox Kinect. That is a pretty penny to pay for technology that one does not plan on using. In May 2015, Apple further acquired Metaio, the German company that powers popular AR apps such as the Ferrari AR show room and Ikea’s virtual catalog.
Other leading acquisitions include that of Faceshift which was in November 2015. This is the company that developed the tech used in the latest Star Wars film. The company’s tech is known to mimic actor’s expressions and could well be linked to virtual technology. Another acquisition is that of Flyby Media. These acquisitions should be a sign for VR enthusiasts about the future of Apple in the VR game.
Why get into the game now?
Going by Apple’s trend, the company may be working on providing buyers with the best there is in terms of VR. Apple is not known to have half-baked products in the market. The tech is usually up to standard as well as the aesthetics and build of the devices. Getting into the game early would have given Apple the opportunity to be a pioneer in VR but it would have also placed the company in a position to churn out something less than fabulous. With Google, Microsoft and Facebook having their VR headset’s, Apple developers can work on something that will surpass each of these headsets, possibly making the tech even better and eliminating the problems that the VR headsets may have come across so far.