Traditional computers are dead dying, tablets have gone out of style, smartphones are starting to stagnate due to saturation, and smartwatches remain “a category waiting for a market”, lacking a clear focus and compelling use cases.
Unsurprisingly therefore, everybody in the tech business is scouting for the “next big thing”, which many analysts seem to believe lies in virtual or augmented reality. Enter Google Glass, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, and… nothing from Apple?
That’s sure odd, although Cupertino’s made it a habit of very carefully exploring the potential of a new product before diving in. At the risk of being left behind by VR pioneers like the ones listed above, Apple continues to run various experiments and prospect ways of bringing innovation to the fledgling segment, so don’t be surprised if the first iPhone-compatible headset gets further “delayed” to 2017.
For the time being, Tim Cook wants to ensure he has the best people on the job, including new “recruit” Doug Bowman. A former professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Human – Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, Bowman joins Apple after earning a grant from Microsoft for HoloLens-related research.
His expertise primarily covers 3D user interface design and “the benefits of immersion in virtual environments”, so obviously, Apple feels software is the key to major advancements in this field. Which makes sense, given there’s already a fair share of powerful, good-looking VR hardware available or soon to go on sale for the wide public.