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Apple hires virtual reality veteran from Disney-backed startup Jaunt

Apple has recently hired a notable name in the virtual reality industry. Arthur van Hoff, a founding executive of VR startup Jaunt, joined Apple in the role of a senior architect earlier this month.

Van Hoff noted his move to Apple on LinkedIn this month, which was first picked up by Variety. According to his LinkedIn, van Hoff joined Apple this month and carries the title of “Senior Architect.” Specific details about his role at Apple, however, are unclear.

This isn’t the first time Apple has hired from Jaunt. Furthermore, in 2016, a report claimed that Apple had held meetings with a handful of immersive content companies, including Jaunt.

Van Hoff founded Jaunt in 2013, serving as its chief technology officer until late last year. In 2016, he briefly stepped into the CEO role, but ultimately returned to the CTO position. Jaunt was initially focused on creating cinematic virtual reality content, but ultimately laid off a large portion of its staff in October of 2018. It then pivoted to focus on mixed reality. Jaunt has raised over $65 million in funding from the likes of Disney.

Last summer, Apple expanded its virtual reality team by hiring the developer of a popular VR painting app. It also hired a developer who made virtual reality plug-ins for Final Cut Pro, as well as researcher Doug Bowman.

Apple is rumored to be working on an augmented reality headset. An investor note from Ming Chi Kuo last month suggested that Apple would start manufacturing its rumored AR headset during the fourth quarter of 2019. The headset is said to rely on iPhone for rendering and connectivity, with mass production on track for the second quarter of 2020.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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