Apple has hired Arthur van Hoff, the founder of virtual reality outfit Jaunt. This is certainly one recruitment move that may tell us the tech giant have an augmented reality headset in mind.
Van Hoff is one of many former Jaunt engineers Apple have hired in recent years, though this may be the most prominent appointment yet. The Dutch computer scientist spent the majority of his time at Jaunt as Chief Technology Officer before taking over as CEO in 2016. Van Hoff also has Flipboard and Dell on his resume.
Jaunt is best known for its development of a high-end VR capture camera, as well as its own distribution platform. In 2016, the company received a staggering $65 million in funding, including Disney – a long-time partner of Apple.
Van Hoff’s move to Apple
There is a number of short VR films available on Jaunt’s website, and they did a release an iOS app, however that app is now defunct. The company has run into trouble as of late; October saw numerous staff laid off, and focus has shifted to mixed/augmented reality capture.
Van Hoff’s LinkedIn profile states that he’s currently a senior architect at Apple and operates out of Menlo Park, California. It’s possible that he may be exploring general work in AR and VR, or it may even that he’s assisting with work on simulation tools for self-driving cars. However, Apple has log been rumoured to be working on AR headset that may be available to consumers as early as 2020.
It’s likely that the first-generation model will be dependent on a paired iPhone for most processing, though it remains unclear whether the connection will be wireless, or cable-bound. In general, Apple is eager to omit all external ports and cables from its products. That said; AR can make for tough bandwidth demands for lagging connections.