In a move which could hint at some potentially cool future enhancements coming to its mobile devices, Bloomberg reports that the Cupertino company has acquired the services of NASA’s former lead on all things augmented and virtual reality – in an effort to bolster its own planned move into both arenas.
“The iPhone maker has hired Jeff Norris, a specialist in the new technology from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to help build future products,” the publication says – citing “people familiar with the matter.”
The report notes that Norris’ expertise in the fields or both AR and VR ultimately led to him leading NASA’s own effort to “create new ways to control spacecraft and robots in space,” (some of which can be seen in the video below).
Norris is thought to have joined Apple’s AR/VR devision, which, Bloomberg notes, is currently being headed by former Dolby Labs executive Mike Rockwell – earlier this year.
Apple is thought to be working on implementing both AR and VR into its mobile devices, perhaps as early as in the next few years, as it works to compete with the likes of Facebook – who too notably just announced a move into the VR arena specifically with the launch of Facebook Spaces in beta, (as well as also unveiling its future roadmap to make Facebook Camera the world’s first mass-VR platform).
Of course, the stage has long been set for technologies like this to flourish.
The launch of Google Cardboard has spawned a plethora of apps, services and devices that now use AR and VR as their focus. Pokemon Go and its 21 Million DAU [Daily Active Users] (as of last July) was also proof that the concept could be more than just a fad, and more expensive, console-designed offerings such as PSVR and Oculus continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible.
Exactly when Apple will implement these technologies into its mobile devices, is unclear. But a future where objects are layered on top of what you see through the iPhone or iPad’s camera, in reality, doesn’t seem too far away …. especially with a self-confessed AR expert now in its corner.
/ Image Credit: Source