Industry professionals and tech enthusiasts always keep their ears to the pavement for any potential ripples from one of the big companies and even the smallest drop from Apple can send waves across multiple markets and publications. Many wondered if Apple would officially step into the VR or AR markets with something exhibiting their usual simple yet luxurious design and, as Bloomberg reports, it looks like the Apple CEO Tim Cook believes the future of the company will be augmented.
Cook has previously theorized that AR could have the same massive impact that smartphones themselves have had and has said positive things about the technology on multiple occasions in the past. Everything is rumor until Apple makes an official statement on the topic, but Bloomberg’s anonymous sources say that Cook believes the company could dominate the next generation of gadgets and keep people engaged with their brand all on the strength of augmented reality.
Gene Munster, a founding partner at Loup Ventures, gave a statement to the publication and he believes the actions to be more reactive than proactive. “It’s something they need to do to continue to grow,” he says, “and defend against the shift in how people use hardware.”
For this to come together, sources say that Apple has been putting together a team with former Dolby executive Mike Rockwell at the helm. This lines up with what the company did when they started working on the Apple watch and one of the former members of that team, Fletcher Rothkopf, is a part of the AR crew. Other members include the former lead engineer for Amazon Lumberyard Cody White, former Oculus researcher Yury Petrov, and design/tech leader Avi Bar-Zeev who has worked on the Hololens.
To bolster these claims, Apple has been making AR related acquisitions as far back as 2015. First, they snatched up AR software developer Metaio and that company’s CEO is now on Apple’s strategic deals team. Then, in January of last year, Apple purchased Flyby Media. Their business is founded in the creation of AR-related camera software.
If all of this turns out to be true and this supposed new AR team finds a way to create an affordable and sleek augmented headset, we could be on the verge of something game changing.