News: Apple Adds to Its AR Bench Strength with Hiring of Jaunt Co-Founder

Apple Adds to Its AR Bench Strength with Hiring of Jaunt Co-Founder

Arthur van Hoff, former CTO and co-founder of Jaunt, is taking his immersive content talents to Cupertino.

As Variety reports, van Hoff began working at Apple as a senior architect this month, after ending a handful of technical advisor commitments listed on his Linkedin profile in March 2019.

Jaunt began its pivot from the VR content services to 3D capture technology for AR experience in October 2018. According to his LinkedIn, van Hoff's tenure as CTO ended at that time, though he remained on board until December to help guide the transition.

Since then, van Hoff has started Artfahrt, a company exploring art and technology that has thus far produced an interactive map visualizing Federal Aviation Administration airspace. (As far as projects between jobs go, it's probably up there with the invention of Cones of Dunshire.)

Given his more recent experience building an immersive content platform at Jaunt, and Apple's relative disinterest in VR, the logical assumption is that van Hoff will supplement Apple's amassed talent in the augmented reality space.

Apple's aspirations in augmented reality are well-documented, from CEO Tim Cook's commentary and general marketing enthusiasm for AR to its ARKit platform and rumored development of smartglasses (which may include VR capabilities), and, considering that AR and VR exist on the same theoretical spectrum, van Hoff's background translates to the AR space.

However, van Hoff's experience in the tech industry is varied, including stints as CTO at Flipboard and Dell and as principal engineer at TiVo, so his hiring could just as easily be to get Apple's new Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, or Apple News+ services off the ground. Time will tell.

Cover image via Silicon Valley Playbook/YouTube

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1 Comment

Arthur is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet in the tech industry. He gave many people their first opportunity to work in #VR on a professional level including myself.

On his Facebook page Arthur says that he's working on Siri now, which makes sense since Jaunt has pivoted to AR and Apple wouldn't risk putting their new hire and recent CTO of a competitor in a compromised position regarding intellectual property.

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