By the time when Apple launched it’s iPhone 7 last year, Apple had already made a few strides with Virtual Reality. Time Cook had said that VR really has a few interesting applications which suggested that Apple was looking forward to something in the VR realm. Besides, there were rumors that Apple has put together a secret team for working on some VR headset as well.
But, at that time, Apple didn’t really give any viable date for the launch of such a headset and kept on working secretly on it. But that didn’t mean that’s the only thing Apple was working on or was rumored to work on in VR arena. In recent times, Apple has really tried to delve into the VR technology and offer support for it in its Macs and iPhones with the release of latest software and hardware.
Some Startup Acquisitions Apple Made In Related Technologies
Among the first steps that Apple took towards VR was an acquisition of a few startups working in the related technologies. Even though these weren’t any major deals, still Apple was amongst some major buyers of VR startups. Here are a few startups that Apple acquired.
• FlyBy Media: FlyBy Media previously used to partner with both Google and Apple in computer vision technology which itself is related to AR and VR. Computer vision technology helps in placing cool digital objects all around. It also helps in making it all feel real.
• Metaio: The German startup introduced an application to visualize what digital furniture can look like when placed in the home.
• PrimeSense: One of the initial acquisitions from Apple, PrimeSense made a camera and video-sensor tuned specifically to support computer vision applications.
• FaceShift: The company, basically, worked on face transformation to create user’s 3D digital cartoons. Best thing is that, things work fine in the real-time situations.
Well, these are only a few startups that Apple purchased to step its foot into the world of VR and there may be many others that Apple has or plans to acquire.
Virtual Reality On Mac
At the WWDC 2017 held back in June, Apple opened up about Virtual Reality and revealed that it is bringing VR on Mac. The demo at the event really showed the power of new MacBook Pro models as Apple revealed that they will be the first Macs to come with support for an external graphics processor. The demo used 15” MacBook Pro, gigantic Thunderbolt 3 GPU and AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card. Though the system lacks portability as of now, but it’s a real powerhouse that one might need to process those massive pixel amounts that are required for VR setup.
Apple has also given a spec-boost to its Macs in order to offer support for VR. And, this is particularly the case with Graphics cards. The 21.5” model is set to come with Intel Iris Plus 640 GPU where as 21.5” 4K models will come with Radeon Pro 555 and Radeon Pro 560 graphics cards. As for 27” 5K model, the mac users will be able to get access to Radeon Pro 580, 575 and 570 along with GB VRAM. So, these new GPUs as well as macOS High Sierra updates, all will get together to offer a perfect VR experience to the Mac users.
All Major Companies Contributing To Apple’s Endeavors
With Apple now openly talking about its latest steps in the Virtual Reality world and introducing VR on the latest iMacs, most major companies are also joining hands with Apple for driving its VR innovation. Valve, a renowned name in VR, is set to optimize the SteamVR platform that it offers for the latest macOS besides enabling connection for HTC Vive headset. In fact, HTC Vive was used in the demo at WWDC as well to showcase what kind of experience Apple users can expect. Epic and Unity are also set to bring their development tools for Virtual Reality to macOS.
So, that’s all for now about Apple’s progress in the VR world and we must say Apple has really come a long way forward from acquiring startups to introducing its own VR capable Macs. And, believe it or not, there is still a lot more to come.