Apple CEO Tim Cook hasn’t been shy about his interest in augmented reality (AR), and a new report appears to shed light on how far Apple may have gone into that arena. According to this report, Apple has put together an eclectic team of experts to work on AR, led by former Dolby Laboratories exec Mike Rockwell.
Apple has built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal strategy. Run by a former Dolby Laboratories executive, the group includes engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens virtual reality headsets sold by Facebook and Microsoft as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood. Apple has also acquired several small firms with knowledge of AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software.
The group is reportedly working on a pair of AR glasses that would place graphics and information right in front of your eyes. However, this project is said to be a long way off from release, if indeed it ever sees the light of day.
For the moment, the team, which is said to report to Apple hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio, appears to be working to bring AR features to future iPhone models. For instance, the report claims that Apple is working on letting customers change the depth of a photograph taken by their iPhone well after the fact. They might also be working on a feature that would let you overlay digital objects and effects on a person in a photo, much like you can now in Snapchat.
Assuming this pans out, what’s unclear in any of this is a timeline. Right now, all we can do is wait and see.