TECH
01/02/2016 09:25 GMT | Updated 01/02/2016 09:59 GMT

Apple Has A Top Secret Team Working On Virtual Reality

Apple has a top secret team of experts which are working on virtual reality and augmented reality headsets to rival the likes of the HTC Vive and the Microsoft Hololens, reports the Financial Times.

virtual reality

Facebook's Oculus helped Samsung make one of the first VR headsets for smartphone.

While other companies like HTC, Sony, Facebook and Microsoft have all started working on virtual reality headsets, Apple has remained incredibly tight-lipped about the technology.

That was of course until a few weeks ago when Apple's CEO Tim Cook admitted that virtual reality is 'not a niche' and does have 'some really interesting applications'.

As it did with the Apple Watch though it looks like Apple is definitely sitting back and waiting to see how consumers react to the current batch of headsets.

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It's a smart move, virtual reality is still considered a relatively young technology and while Samsung and Google have actively been pushing the smartphone-side of it we're yet to see how the £500 Oculus Rift will perform when the public finally gets a hand on them.

Then of course there's Sony's big investment into vr with the Sony PlayStation VR headset, a roughly £300 virtual reality headset that will cost as much as the console it'll be connecting to and will launch with a range of VR-dedicated games.

Virtual reality is, as far as the public-facing message goes, ready for human consumption and as we summarised in our own preview of the technology it's clear that we are indeed on the verge of mass consumption:

If it has one last hurdle then that is the simple fact that not everyone on the planet has a gaming PC.

It's a demanding piece of technology, it needs brute power to process all those pixels and while Oculus and Samsung have shown that VR works on the go, if you want to start exploring the deck of a sunken ship you're going to need a tank of a computer.

HTC isn't worried though, and frankly neither should we. HTC's vr team explained to me that they're so confident in Moore's law they believe that by halfway through 2016 PC's will be powerful and cheap enough to run Vive.

Sony's tackled PlayStation VR by including an extra processing unit that takes on the responsibility of the extra grunt.

What excites me the most however is not what we've seen already, but what I'm yet to see. Virtual reality isn't the exclusive servant of mass entertainment, it's a gateway into a thousand different scenarios.

Imagine the benefits this new virtual environment could have on learning. Imagine children no longer having to slave through hours of maths, but instead seeing maths in action, interacting with it by building a giant pyramid of blocks.