Looks like Apple could be heading into the Virtual Reality market, if a recent job listing is anything to go by…
Apple has posted a recruitment ad looking for developers with experience in 3D graphics and augmented reality systems, suggesting that it’s diving into the increasingly populated world of virtual reality. It’s also looking for engineers to “create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems”, similar to the VR experience offered by Samsung’s Gear VR and other mobile-oriented headsets.
The Apple job ad elaborates by saying “We are looking for a software engineer to develop UI and applications to create next generation software experiences. The individual must be able to participate in collaborative and iterative UI design through the implementation phases & complete performant user experience code for product delivery.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has shown an interest in the virtual world. Just last year, the company was awarded a patent for a headset which was a “goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience”. The obvious Oculus Rift comparisons were made, but nothing ultimately became of the project, as far as we know.
If Apple does dive into the VR market, it’ll have some tough competition on its hands. Samsung has already shown off its Gear VR, while Oculus Rift is fast becoming a household name and Cordon, a Canadian company, has announced its intention to create a crowd sourced, third-party VR visor to be used with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
‘Could’ is the operative word here though. The job listing gives the impression that Apple is looking to develop software which would play nice with other VR systems, so plans for hardware may not even be on the radar right now. In fact, utilising other company’s tech is something which Apple has done well in the past, and would likely do well again. Besides which, any hardware that Apple puts out is bound to generate interest, even with plenty of rival devices on offer – just look at the Apple Watch.