Apple adds another VR expert to growing team


AR glasses
Will Apple be able to make AR glasses that aren’t nerdy looking?
Photo: Taeyeon Kim

Apple has added another high-profile hire to its team of engineers developing AR and VR headsets.

Serial entrepreneur Arthur van Hoff reportedly joined Apple this month after leaving Jaunt, a VR-focused startup company that he founded that eventually scored funding from Disney

Van Hoff started working at Apple in a senior architect position at the beginning of April. His LinkedIn profile doesn’t specify if he’s working on a VR or AR project. Apple also hasn’t commented on the hiring but given his background, he’s probably doing something related to that field.

Jaunt developed its own high-end camera for VR capture along with a distribution platform for VR content. The company underwent a massive round of layoffs in October after the funding the company raised failed to support it. In 2015, the company raised about $65 million in funding from Disney and other companies.

Before founding Jaunt, van Hoff was a CTO at Flipboard. He also was an engineer at TiVo and served as software and service CTO at Dell. Apple has hired a number of former Jaunt engineers over the last few years so van Hoff should see a few familiar faces at Apple Park.

Apple is reportedly exploring both virtual reality and augmented reality products. The iPhone-maker has a pretty big headstart with AR thanks to ARKit that turned iOS into the world’s biggest augmented reality platform. There are rumors that the company wants to make Apple Glasses that would overlay information on top of the real world for wearers. Some optimistic analysts have said to expect the headsets by 2020, but given how clunky some of the competing augmented glasses still are, we wouldn’t get our hopes too high to see Apple entering the market next year.