Apple has hired Doug Bowman, one of the top virtual reality researchers in the United States. A report out of the Financial Times states that Bowman joined the Cupertino giant after going on sabbatical from his post as computer science professor at Virginia Tech.

Bowman's research is focused on "three-dimensional user interface design and the benefits of immersion in virtual environments," with his work focused on immersive VR applications, such as HTC's Vive and the Oculus Rift, and augmented reality tech like Google Glass and Microsoft's HoloLens.

Apple has been making strides in VR, acquiring three companies in the last year to expedite its efforts in this segment. In May, it acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, followed by Faceshift, which makes real-time motion capture technology used in Star Wars. More recently, it acquired Emotient, a company that uses artificial intelligence to read people's emotions by their facial expressions.

At this stage, it's unclear as to what Bowman would be working on at Apple, but the manufacturer has filed patents for several VR products, including video goggles, 3D interfaces and displays.

Source: Financial Times