Apple may be looking to shake up the VR market big time.
A stunning new report indicates that Apple has a secret team of hundreds of people working on a new virtual reality headset to rival HoloLens and Oculus Rift.
As the company looks to expand its horizons beyond the iPhone, virtual reality is a natural new frontier for hte tech giant, and a new report in the Financial Times indicates that Apple has a secret staff charged with developing one.
They will have plenty of competition, with Facebook’s Oculus Rift already making waves and Microsoft developing the mixed-reality HoloLens. There’s also Gear VR from Samsung and Vive from HTC.
Apple is believed to have poached experts who were working on the HoloLens to start working on their secret project. Apple recently hired a top virtual reality researcher and a former director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech.
Apple not surprisingly isn’t commenting on this new project, and there is still a lot that is unknown about it — for example, if it would simply be an iPhone accessory or a full-on headset like the Oculus Rift.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said in a recent earnings call that he doesn’t think virtula reality is a niche.
Apple has dabbled in VR before, but Steve Jobs didn’t think the technology was quite ready for it in the mid-2000s. A decade later, and it appears the tech is much more mature and can support big projects like this.