The Gurman post I've been waiting for hit early this morning, essentially confirming that Apple's next big move will be in the world of AR. This should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to augmented reality's potential, and the fact that Apple's first crack at augmented reality is already on your iPhone, in the form of 'Portrait Mode' on the iPhone 7 Plus.
The article asserts that the lead on the project, Mike Rockwell, was hired back in 2015, and that development is well underway:
Last spring, in a sign that it's serious about taking products to market, Apple put some of its best hardware and software people on Rockwell's team, including Fletcher Rothkopf who helped lead the team that designed the Apple Watch, and Tomlinson Holman, who created THX, the audio standard made popular by LucasFilm.
Apple has also recruited people with expertise in everything from 3D video production to wearable hardware. Among them, the people say: Cody White, former lead engineer of Amazon's Lumberyard virtual reality platform; Duncan McRoberts, Meta's former director of software development; Yury Petrov, a former Oculus researcher; and Avi Bar-Zeev, who worked on the HoloLens and Google Earth.
Apple has rounded out the team with iPhone, camera and optical lens engineers. There are people with experience in sourcing the raw materials for the glasses. The company has also mined the movie industry's 3D animation ranks, the people said, opening a Wellington office and luring several employees from Weta Digital, the New Zealand special-effects shop that worked on King Kong, Avatar and other films.