Apple Job Vacancy Suggests Virtual Reality Development

/ 3 years ago

Virtual Reality (VR) is widely considered to be the next frontier for technology companies. With touch-screen technology being perfected and implemented within various devices and 3D displays becoming increasingly common, the next piece of Sci-Fi tech awaiting to escape the confines of fiction is doubtlessly VR.

Various forms of this technology – which would allow users, via a headset, to be surrounded and situated within a virtual world – have been in development for some years but has yet to reach beyond prototype stage. With internet technologies quickly accelerating and virtual locations like online casinos and movie-streaming websites becoming more popular, there has never been a better time for VR to become a reality. Imagine being actually surrounded by the glowing slot-machines of Supercasino – which can be viewed here – or being fully immersed within the climatic battle at the end of The Avengers via Netflix. There is a growing market for this technology and an equally expanding variety of websites that could implement it. Considering this, it is unsurprising that the race to releasable VR technology has heated up significantly in recent years.

Apple Wallpaper by davidgsteadman, on Flickr

Various VR projects , from Google Cardboard to Sony’s Project Morpheus, have been announced and subsequently stalled. However, today hopes for the practical realisation of this technology were again raised with the discovery of a telling job advertisement on the US’s Apple website. This advertisement outlined a new role, for a software engineer, that would involve the creation of apps integrated with VR technology. The need for the development of compatible apps not only suggests that Apple is developing VR technology but that it is nearing completion. Furthermore, the jobs requirements, of the prospective employee, were familiar to anyone interested in VR. The needed familiarity with VR components as 3D Graphics programming and Virtual/augmented reality development being particularly telling.

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This inadvertently announced development is the first piece of information regarding Apple’s entry into the VR arena since last December. During this month, an Apple patent for a head-mounted goggle display, from 2008, was revealed. This device, which is suspected to look like ski goggles, would be designed to allow people to be immersed within media – such as films, televisions shows etc – whilst travelling. If this design ever became physical, it would be directly competing with the Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR.

Oculus Rift’s Newest Prototype is ’Cresc by BagoGames, on Flickr
The way for Apple to surpass these rivals would be for its variation of VR to be able to neutralise the intrinsic nausea that other prototypes have caused to human test subjects. The full integration offered by VR, which is essentially its primary selling-point, confuses the brain’s perception of motion and therefore can lead to a form of sea sickness. Whilst this does not effect everyone, its threat of occurring has been sighted as one of the main stumbling blocks in bringing VR to the mainstream market. Therefore if Apple can solve this problem, the future VR market would be there for the taking.

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