Apple has hired a senior virtual reality researcher

Apple has hired Doug Bowman, a virtual reality researcher, for an unknown project, The Financial Times reports.

Prior to working at Apple, Bowman was a professor of computer science at Virginia Tech University, where his research focused on virtual reality.

According to his academic profile, his work focused on “three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments.”

Apple has recently been looking to beef up its virtual, and augmented, reality efforts. The company has bought a series of small startups which focused on the technology, along with filing several patents.

Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and HTC are all working on either augmented (or “mixed”) reality or virtual reality. The difference is that augmented reality adds to the current world while virtual reality swaps it out for another.

Microsoft’s HoloLens, an augmented reality headset, goes on sale to developers later this year while Google’s Cardboard, which works with an Android phone, has already been released.

Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, has been making big strides with virtual reality and recently announced its first headset, named Rift, will go on sale for $600 (£420) in March.

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