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Apple hires VR expert – Mashable

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Tim-cook-apple In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an introduction of the new iPhone 5 in San Francisco.

Image: Eric Risberg,/Associated Press

Apple is flexing its hiring muscle in the field of virtual reality. According to a new report from The Financial Times, the Cupertino giant has hired VR expert Doug Bowman.

Before joining Apple, Bowman was a computer science professor at Virginia Tech, where he also served as the director for the University’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction.

Bowman’s academic background shows a focus on 3D interaction, immersive environments and usability engineering.

Bowman’s hiring is just the latest move that indicates Apple has more than just a passing interest with VR. In May, Apple acquired the AR software firm Metaio. Apple has also acquired the teams behind Faceshift and Emotient that focus on alternative interfaces and experiences.

Of course, it isn’t surprising to see Apple hiring VR experts. If this is going to be one of the next major frontiers in computing, it would be ridiculous to expect the tech giant to let Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Sony take center stage.

For us, it’s not a question of whether or not Apple is working on VR-related initiatives — it’s more about what those initiatives will look like and how they will present themselves to the public.

And then, there’s also the issue of what this whole initiative would be called.

A few years ago, we could start calling this the “rumored iVR project” — but Apple has started to eschew the “i” moniker for its product names.

We could call this “Apple VR” but that feels almost too generic.

If it was up to me, I would just embrace the past and call this project the Apple Virtual Reality Distortion Field Group.

BONUS: Hands on with the Oculus Rift’s awesome Touch controllers

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Topics: Apple, Gadgets, Tech, virtual reality, VR

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