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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