Apple has assembled a large team of virtual and augmented reality experts for a top secret project, reports the Financial Times. The team is said to be building prototypes of headsets that could one day compete against Oculus Rift or Microsoft’s Hololens.

Sources say the secret research unit is made up of hundreds of staff Apple has picked up in a series of carefully targeted acquisitions, as well poached employees from companies working on VR tech such as Microsoft and the darling camera start-up Lytro.

The company’s latest acquisition in the area is Flyby Media, an augmented reality start-up that lets mobile devices “see” the world around them. Flyby’s team worked closely with Google in developing software for its 3D positioning technology Project Tango. 

Apple has been building prototypes of possible headset configurations for several months.

Earlier this month, it was made public that Apple had hired Doug Bowman, one of the top VR researchers in the US, and during Apple’s earnings call on Tuesday, Tim Cook turned heads by saying “[VR] is really cool and has some interesting applications.”

Source: Financial Times

  • EduHH

    Apple used to be good at having secrets…

    • Hussain Alsanona

      We know Apple is working on VR but we don’t know what is real working on. It could be for mapping, or another related application. It might not be as oculus in any way.

      • FAiD BlueKnight

        Honestly…I’m thinking of 3D games! Just think what would be possible with this! Imagine wearing the headset and you can see applications floating in front of you, and some how you can interact with them.

    • Ángel Javier Esquivel

      Maybe these are controlled leaks

      • nonchalont

        Exactly what they are. Leaked enough to keep the consumer guessing and have the consumer throw out ideas to capitalize on.

    • iPhoneWINS

      they used too have great stuff

      • FAiD BlueKnight

        I see a lot of potential in this! Just imagine if this were like a new way to see, I’m talking about the ability to zoom in on something and to see far like binoculars, add a filter to make outside look a little more pleasant, heck…they can even incorporate games that use reality, just imagine looking forward to see an objective that you have to reach, but that might not be right, UNLESS…you are working out! Just imagine the possibilities, them bring Apple: they will do something unexpected, they always find a way. They brought us multi touch AND 3D touch, using their knowledge they can incorporate something truly amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised to find these as a replacement for glasses lol but people might look a little weird wearing something that covers their eyes.

      • FAiD BlueKnight

        I’m thinking of…iSight (Sponsored by Nike Fitness+)
        “a different way to experience reality”

    • askep3

      They have probably been working on this years, like 3+ years, we are only hearing about it now

      • Elias Chao

        Well, I don’t trust in Apple secrecy anymore since Mark Gurman has leaked almost everything they’ve presented in the past years.

      • George

        That’s bs considering it will be as good as a Google cardboard its 1st gen.

      • askep3

        How do you know that?

      • George

        Because they always rip people off with first gen products.

      • askep3

        No first gen products are perfect, and the Google cardboard is a google garage thing, it wouldn’t be as serious, if Apple does vr it will be at least at oculus’s level give or take

      • N&LH

        Google didn’t invent VR. So, it does not make sense to say they always rip off. Same for finger scanner Android had it first but the tech has been out there since 2003. When Apple brought Touch ID, oh they copied Android. Eventually, Android copied Apple’s way in implementing Touch ID hardware and software

  • iPhoneWINS


  • Jorge Angel

    I hope is not the same team that worked on the iPad Pro or the Samrt Battery Case!

  • L J

    Guess it’s not a secret now

  • jay

    They work on all kind of stuff. Stuff we don’t even know the existing. If apple want they can make one in a year or so.