Leading virtual reality researcher Doug Bowman has joined Apple.
Bowman is widely-known in the VR space as the ‘principal investigator’ of the 3D Interaction Group, a collective focused on researching “three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments".
He was also professor of computer science and director of the center for human-computer interaction at Virginia Tech, where the 3D Interaction Group was formed, and served as the general chair of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference from 2007 to 2008.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood told the Financial Times that Bowman’s appointment was likely a move by Apple to follow its tech titan rivals into the fast-developing VR sector.
"I’d wager that there is a substantial team within Apple figuring out how the company will play a role in this technology," he suggested.
"It certainly can’t let rivals such as Facebook, Google and Samsung run away with the market, particularly given the groundswell of momentum building around smartphone-based virtual reality."