A leading American virtual reality (VR) researcher joined Apple, Financial Times reported, indicating the iPhone maker is upping its efforts in a field in which companies like Facebook and Samsung are making headway.
David Bowman was reportedly hired by Apple following a sabbatical from Virginia Tech (VTech), where he was a professor of computer sciences and director of the centre for human-computer interaction.
According to VTech’s website, he (pictured) is “the principal investigator of the 3D Interaction Group, focusing on the topics of three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments”.
Apple did not comment on the matter.
The report says Apple “filed patents for smartphone-based VR headsets and made several acquisitions that seem to point to a growing interest in the technology, including emotion-recognition software”.
Last week, Google formed a virtual reality unit and chose Clay Bavor, VP for product management, as its head. Bavor is one of the creators of Google Cardboard, the company’s VR device.
Goldman Sachs predicts the VR industry to be worth $80 billion by 2025, the report added, and “has the potential to spawn a multibillion-dollar industry, and possibly be as game changing as the advent of the PC”.