Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster – yes, the guy who predicts an Apple television set every year, just like clockwork – says he believes Apple will bring virtual reality to its iOS lineup within the next two years.
AppleInsider got its hands on a research note by Munster, where he claims a timeline of recent purchases and hires made by Apple indicates The company could be considering iOS support for “mixed reality” applications, which could launch as soon as 2018.
Munster says a LinkedIn search lists at least 141 current Apple employees that have a background in augmented reality. However, it should be noted that a similar search for other companies shows 425 people at Microsoft, and 267 folks at Google with the same type of work experience, so…
Muster claims the Cupertino firm is particularly interested in “mixed reality” wearables which use embedded cameras and sensor to blend imagery with real life objects. He sees the progression from smartphones to AR/VR tech as a natural for Apple, and believes it will come in the form of an accessory for the iPhone, much like the Apple Watch.
However, he doesn’t expect Apple to release its own hardware in the near term, instead offering developers an official software framework to work with “MFi” type programs for third-party VR hardware.
MacTrast merely presents this report in the interest of “what if,” as we do take into account Munster’s questionable predictions in recent years, such as the previously mentioned Apple television set. However, it should be noted Munster’s “predictions” follow on the heels of a report from the Financial Times, which claimed Apple has built a secret research unit to experiment with AR and VR technologies.