Apple is rumored to be building an augmented reality headset that should release sometime next year, and now it has been revealed that the tech giant recently hired Arthur van Hoff, one of the co-founders of Disney-backed Jaunt VR, for its growing augmented reality team.

According to his refreshed LinkedIn profile, this serial entrepreneur now holds a senior architect position at Apple, where he started working earlier this month.

As first noted by Variety, this is a significant hire.

Not only is Van Hoff one of the co-founders of Jaunt, which counts Disney as one of its backers, but will also be working with his former colleagues because Apple’s hired many ex Jaunt engineers over the past few years to work on technologies ranging from augmented reality and computer vision to camera systems and other special projects.

From the report:

Van Hoff founded Jaunt in 2013 and served as its CTO until late 2018. He also briefly stepped into the CEO role in 2016. Jaunt had been one of the pioneering drivers of cinematic virtual reality; the company developed its own high-end camera for VR capture, as well as a distribution platform for VR content. In 2015, Jaunt raised some $65 million in funding from Disney and others.

Earlier in his career, van Hoff had served as Flipboard’s CTO, Dell’s software and services CTO and Tivo’s principal engineer. Prior to joining Apple, he had been advising firms such as VR camera maker Lucid and internet of things startup Ayla Networks.

Faced with the harsh realities of making a living in a lagging AR/VR market, Jaunt has struggled to secure further funding to back its projects. Last October, the company laid off “a significant portion of its staff,” according to Variety, and refocused on mixed reality capture.

Apple’s own augmented reality headset is expected to launch next year, but the gadget is expected to enter production in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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