Analyst: Apple team exploring virtual reality/augmented reality

In a note to clients Monday, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster reports that Apple “has assembled its own team of virtual and augmented reality engineers and is ‘exploring the [augmented reality] space,'” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“His evidence: Apple spent $32 million in March to acquire the engineering team at Metaio, a software company with dozens of virtual reality patents,” P.E.D. reports. “In late 2013 Apple acquired PrimeSense for $345 million. Its engineers are best known for designing the first motion sensors for Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect. Apple has hired an unnamed expert that Munster describes as the lead audio engineer from Microsoft’s Hololens project, which alters the direction sounds seem to come from depending on how you turn your head.”

While augmented reality is likely 10 years away from broader consumer adoption, we believe it has the potential to be as profound a technology platform as the smartphone today. — Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It only makes sense that Apple would be exploring this space and there are potential innumerable applications for virtual reality/augmented reality technology.

Apple exploring a new reality with purchase of Metaio – June 3, 2015
Apple patents perforated augmented reality display that you can see and hear through – May 29, 2015
Apple acquires augmented reality company Metaio – May 28, 2015
Apple granted U.S. patent for hybrid VR head-mounted display – February 18, 2015
Apple is working on VR user interfaces and gaming; looking for Oculus and Leap experts – February 10, 2015
Apple granted patent for display-based speakers for iOS devices – January 13, 2015
Apple granted a patent for devices with a transparent display – November 18, 2014
Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
Apple continues to tweak Apple TV video headset accessory – April 10, 2014
Apple patent application reveals sapphire flexible transparent display devices created with Liquidmetal – December 19, 2013
Apple granted knockout patent for head-mounted personal display – December 10, 2013
iGlasses: Apple granted patent for head-mounted augmented reality displays – July 5, 2012


  1. “Gene Munster reports that Apple ‘has assembled its own team of virtual and augmented reality engineers and is exploring the [augmented reality] space…”

    Oh Gene.

    With early iPhone analysis, you were the man.

    After almost a decade of your “Apple TV any day now” predictions, we’re perhaps just weeks away from having your prophesy fulfilled.

    Ride that wave, my friend. Drink up all the praise and congratulatory back pats the press can munster.

    Don’t go screwing it up by starting a whole new round of predictions.

  2. Apple is going to lose out by staying too quiet or waiting too long on saying anything about this. Macs won’t run Oculus Rift (no Mac has a desktop grade GPU optimized for gaming to meet minimum requirements), so I am being forced into possibly dropping a few grand on an Origin PC running Skylake 4GHz i7 running dual GTX 980ti’s.

    If Apple has something planned I would wait. And by “wait” I mean I would still drop $980 building a bare minimum PC so I can still play Oculus Rift while I wait for Apple’s VR, my PC just would not be future proofed whatsoever.

    But the point is, I am deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem. I have only Apple devices and have not owned a PC at all since 2009. I hate the idea of getting a PC, but am considering it out of necessity to not miss out on VR.

    VR is about to change the world in 2016 just as much as the iPhone changed the world in 2007.

    1. So Apple needs to do one of two things (preferably both!):

      1. Announce VR, even if it’s way the eff out in the future.

      2. Release a Mac that exceeds the minimum requirements for running the competitor devices like Rift.

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