Apple Inc. and the Role It Played in the Development of Virtual Reality | VR Life

Apple Inc., a Pioneer of Virtual Reality?

Apple Inc VR

Not many might be aware of it, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced QuickTime VR in 1995, a period when the concept of virtual reality itself would have been considered out of this world and perhaps even magic. After a short period, the daring Apple project was abandoned as it lost steam and popularity.

Apple Inc.: A Virtual Reality Pioneer?

Development of QuickTime VR

In the early nineties, the Human Interface Group created QuickTime VR. During this period, John Scully was Apple’s CEO while Steve Jobs was at NeXT. Sculley recalls that there were no 360-degree video cameras at that time when Human Interface Group was researching on how to create digital 3-D devices. The software was developed within a short time and used in production of the devices.

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This impressive technology reached its climax when an immersive image of the top of Golden Gate Bridge was made and used as a demonstration for the software that was introduced later in 1995. Other images were produced in Paris and Russia. Generally, the early applications of the project were successful and Sally Ride, director at Apple Inc., then found QuickTime VR very impressive.

Animating photos to produce a panoramic view required a lot of computer resources. Thus, Apple Inc. went out and acquired a Cray supercomputer to meet up with the demands of the project. When Steve Jobs became Apple’s CEO, QuickTime VR was abandoned as the visionary CEO was focused on other projects.



Advancement in Technology

Since the introduction of QuickTime VR, technology has developed at a fast pace and 360 degrees video cameras were developed. Currently, several technological devices are built with virtual realities capabilities. It would seem that the OJ Simpson case was the first time QuickTime got national attention.

Virtual Reality Today

Currently, the virtual reality platform created by Apple Inc. in the ’90s is used in many YouTube videos. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Google, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), and Samsung have also ventured into the production of VR videos. Perhaps, Apple’s QuickTime VR was developed at the right time as several smartphones can now merge series of images with ease.

Apple Inc.

Apple Acquires VR Companies

When Apple Inc. purchased VR-related companies a few years back, it was rumored that the company is planning to create either a virtual reality or augmented reality device. In 2013, Apple Inc. acquired PrimeSense, the company that created Xbox Kinetics. In 2015, it purchased the German company Metaio, which is known for the production of AR applications such as Ferarri’s AR showroom App and IKEA’s virtual catalog. Also in 2015, the company acquired Faceshift, a software company that creates motion-capture technology. Flyby Media, a company that develops technologies on smartphones, was purchased by Apple Inc. as well. These acquisitions only suggest that Apple Inc. is developing either VR or AR devices.

Apple VR Headset

Some of the major technological companies have delved into the production of VR and AR devices. Samsung, Facebook-owned Oculus, HTC, Google, and even Microsoft have developed VR devices. The acquisitions by Apple were enough proof that the company was planning to release something big.

After the tech giant acquired VR-related companies, hired VR experts, and even filed patents, rumors about Apple Inc.’s possible new release started to surface, it made enthusiasts believe even more that hearsays about a new VR device were not baseless.

The year 2017 came, and Apple introduced a VR headset known as View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack. This VR headset is compatible with iPhone and is currently available in the market.

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