Could Apple’s secret effort to bring a pair of AR glasses to fruition be closer to becoming, well, a real product? Maybe, if this job posting that shows Apple is looking to hire a neuroscientist is any indication.
The iPhone maker wants to bring a “senior systems neuroscientist” on board, and the requirements sure make it sound like this person would be especially useful on the glasses product. They’re asked to have, among other things, at least five years’ worth of experience designing experiments “to investigate the neural correlates of perception, action or cognition” as well as “Deep expertise in sensory perception (i.e., mid to high level vision) as well as extensive research experience in any or all of the following: multi-sensory and sensorimotor integration, depth perception, decision making, neural coding and decoding.”
Another clue — the person will join Apple’s Technology Development Team. Worth keeping in mind is that this listing is pretty vague and encompasses a range of possible explanations, but here’s more about what the company envisions for this role:
“The Technology Development Team is currently looking for a neuroscientist who is passionate about the study of the brain and its application to building transformative neurotechnology. You will have a strong research background and have made original contributions to basic science through a combination of experimental and computational approaches. You thrive in designing clever experiments and carrying out deep quantitative analysis of complex datasets, with a demonstrated knack for pulling out novel insights.”
Augmented reality, as a general technology even beyond the specifics of any glasses product, is increasingly being talked about as holding the potential to unlock Apple’s Next Big Thing. Former Apple software engineer Ken Kocienda, for example, just a few days ago told CNBC he thinks AR will definitely be a part of whatever that next hit product is. (Ken is the guy we wrote about a few days ago, the guy who developed the iPhone’s autocorrect features as well as the on-screen keyboard in the first iPhone who’s just released a book about his time at Apple.)
Apple CEO Tim Cook is already on record talking frequently about the game-changing potential of AR. ARKit 2.0 will be part of the new version of iOS, and Apple also has just acquired a startup that makes displays for AR headsets.
Cultofmac, about the new job posting, points out that this role could be for something a lot more basic than glasses. “People don’t really look at their iPhones and Mac with their eyes; they are using their brains. The company could be hiring a neuroscientist to study how our brains react to various iOS and macOS applications.”
Don’t forget, though — Apple “supposedly has over 100 engineers exploring both augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.” So we may indeed see something new soon on this front.