Meet Doug Bowman. Leading expert on virtual reality joined Apple team
Doug Bowman joined the Apple team after a sabbatical leave in which he left from a post of director of the Center for Human Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech.
The main reason of speculations about Apple’s developments in the area of augmented reality is recent purchase of Metaio startup that occurred in May 2015. The startup brought Apple another 170 patents related with augmented reality and it helped the company to reach the 11th rank worldwide in the number of appropriate documents
Note that this is not the first acquisition in this area. In 2013, Apple acquired the company PrimeSense, 3D tracking technology that has not yet appeared in any Apple’s serial device. Company’s engineers specialize on the creation of cameras that can record movements and became famous for the development of hardware of the first Kinect.
It is expected that the first device of the company will be augmented reality glasses in the style of “glasses of the future” HoloLens. In July 2015, Apple took into the team an engineer Nick Thompson, who led the development of the audio part of the project at Microsoft. In augmented reality sound plays an important role, because in many respects it is what orients a person, to determine position of objects in space.
Many argue that Apple is lagging behind in terms of virtual and augmented reality software. Google, for example, has already invested a large sum in a Magic Leap startup, that develops MR-Glasses. Microsoft presented a prototype of its own similar device and the startup Meta openly developing a gadget for several years.
But let’s not criticize Apple for restraint, as its main credo was and remains a minimum of experiments on their customers and we are thankful for that.