Apple Dives into Virtual Reality with Job Listing
When Facebook purchased Oculus VR earlier this year, it suddenly rocketed to the forefront of the burgeoning virtual reality field. As it stands now, there are only a few other major players deciding to dip their toes into the VR waters: Sony, which is working on a headset called Project Morpheus, and Samsung, which itself is actually an Oculus partner rather than an outright competitor. But a new job listing spotted online today signals that Apple may soon be looking to expand into virtual reality, too.
Pointed out by 9to5Mac today, the November 21 job listing on Apple’s website is for an “App Engineer.”
“We are looking for a software engineer to develop UI and applications to create next generation software experiences,” it reads. “The individual must be able to take participate [sic] in collaborative and iterative UI design through the implementation phases & complete performant user experience code for product delivery. This engineer will create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping and user testing.”
“Virtual Reality systems”? Like what? Like something called “iReality” or something? What are you working on, Apple?
If this were any other company, I’d take this listing more or less at face value: that there’s work happening on virtual reality software, and that’s it. But Apple rarely makes just software. The company is lauded for the fact that it bundles its software experiences into Apple-made hardware packages. Sure, you can download iTunes onto your Windows PC, but that only became possible after it launched on the Mac. Similarly, while I have no doubt Apple would be happy to bring VR software to someone else’s system, I have a hard time believing it wouldn’t be working on its own VR hardware, too.
And there’s evidence that this is the case, too. The 9to5Mac post links back to a USTPO patent filing that was published last December for a “head-mounted display.” Yep: that’s some kinda virtual reality thingie.
Considering the competition in the form of Facebook and Google with Glass, there’s really no reason Apple wouldn’t also be exploring that growing sector. On the other hand, there is yet to be a VR headset that doesn’t look entirely ridiculous. As a result, I have my doubts that even the might Apple would be able to crack that nut.