Arthur van Hoff, co-founder a Disney-backed virtual reality start-up called Jaunt, joined Apple this month as a senior architect.
Van Hoff founded Jaunt in 2013, and served as its CTO until late 2018. He also briefly stepped into the CEO role in 2016. Jaunt had been one of the pioneering drivers of cinematic virtual reality; the company developed its own high-end camera for VR capture, and also a distribution platform for VR content. In 2015, it raised some $65 million in funding from Disney and others.
However, the company struggled to reconcile its aggressive plans, and the funding it had raised to support them, with the realities of a lagging VR market. In October, it laid off a significant portion of its staff, and refocused on mixed reality capture.
Cue the YouTube video from 2016:
My take: Tim Cook is pouring money into AR (augmented reality) and van Hoff is a VR (virtual reality) guy, but there’s a lot of overlap. I’m not sure what “mixed reality capture” is, but it sounds like something a pair of Apple glasses could use. van Hoff talks about AR at the 2:00 minute mark in the video, and he makes it sound hard.