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Apple hires virtual reality expert

Report suggests Doug Bowman has joined tech giant

Never one to be left out of the technology race Apple has quietly hired virtual reality expert Doug A. Bowman.

The Financial Times reported on the new appointment, which would suggest Apple is at least researching the technology as Google, Facebook, Sony and Microsoft prepare to enter the virtual reality and augmented reality arenas.

"I'd wager that there is a substantial team within Apple figuring out how the company will play a role in this technology," Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight told The FT.

"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."

Bowman was the Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, where he was also the "principal investigator of the 3D Interaction Group, focusing on the topics of three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments."

Some of the projects listed on the 3D Interaction Group site include "VR for Sport Anxiety," "Immersive Virtual Human Exploration of Space" and "Learning with Locations in VR."

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