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Report: Apple building prototype VR headsets

Apple store NYApple has reportedly built prototype virtual reality (VR) headsets in a bid to take on rival devices that are being made by the likes of Facebook and Microsoft.

According to a Financial Times report, Apple has put together “a large team of experts” in VR and augmented reality and it is looking to make a device that could rival Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset or Microsoft’s Hololens device.

Citing unnamed sources, the FT said that Apple has been building prototype devices for “several months” and that its secret VR unit now includes “hundreds of staff.”

It also claimed that Apple has acquired augmented reality firm Flyby Media – a company that develops computer vision technology that links real life to mobile and wearable devices.

The news follows reports from last month that Apple has hired computer science professor and virtual reality expert Doug Bowman, who was previously director of the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech.

A recent Deloitte study predicted that VR will celebrate its first billion-dollar year in 2016, driven by approximately US$700 million (€645 million) in global hardware sales.