Is Apple secretly developing an augmented reality device to challenge Microsoft’s HoloLens?

Although there are quite a few players in the field of virtual reality now, Microsoft’s HoloLens is unique in the way it implements the technology. Unlike other VR headsets, the HoloLens will not take you completely away from the real world, but will integrate your own world with that of the HoloLens. You will see aliens shooting at you from the corner of your hallway, while you take cover behind your sofa and shoot back. At least that’s what we hope it will be like after the technical evangelist event by Microsoft in Israel!

Some may argue that Apple was originally not interested in augmented reality, but the recently growing popularity of the HoloLens may have changed their perception on it. In a recent report by Verge, it was stated that Apple has recently hired Doug Bowman, a star name in the field of research on VR and AR technology. It also states that Apple has been expanding its business and acquiring VR research firms in secrecy for quite a while now.

Bowman won an award from NSF for what he achieved in 3D interaction while he worked for years at Virginia Tech as the director of human-computer interaction center. In the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2007 – 2008, he was the general chair. The man’ credentials are through the roof and Apple hiring him only means one thing; they are very interested in virtual reality!

Other acquisitions of Apple in this regard include Flyby Media, a previous partner of Google for Project Tango. Emotient, Faceshift and Metaio are some of the other names that we came to know of as recently acquired assets of Apple and they all work in the field of human-computer interaction and virtual reality in one way or the other. Apple is famous for putting their own tweaks on to gadgets that they develop, so the device and its designs remain an enigma for now.

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