There's little doubt that Apple has a bit of an interest in virtual reality, but there hasn't been much proof up to this point that the Cupertino company has been planning to take that interest one step further. Well, according to Financial Times, Apple is indeed en route to deliver a VR product to market, and has assembled a large, experienced team, to see it through.
The report says that Apple has plucked some VR talent from Microsoft's HoloLens team, as well as from Lytro, the company that gave us our first light-field camera. Beyond that, we learned only last week that Apple has also brought VR expert Doug Bowman into its ranks, which is about as much of a tip-off as we need. Way back in 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, a company that develops sensors designed for 3D positioning. Perhaps Apple could be even further along in the VR game that we've realized.
Could Apple's forthcoming VR product prove a great competitor to the Oculus Rift?
What's not at all clear at this point is exactly which type of VR product Apple is planning to bring to market. It could be something as simple as a product that lets you see VR with your iPhone, although given how serious the company seems to be about VR, that strikes us as a little too simple. The obvious guess would be that Apple is working on a headset like so many others, but perhaps it has some other trick up its sleeve, as well.
While Apple has more disposable cash on hand than any other company in the world, that doesn't guarantee that any VR solution it comes up with is going be prove a serious threat to the market. We can turn to HTC as one example of why: it started later than Oculus on its respective headset, but most people on the street seem to agree that HTC's solution is better. That also proves that Apple could very well enter this market with a bang, somehow delivering a product better than both of those.
Time will tell. All we can do for the moment is speculate.