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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Economic Summit during the China Development Forum in Beijing today / Chinatopix via AP

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said for a while now that he finds augmented reality a big deal and a whole lot more interesting than pure virtual reality. However, Apple has been characteristically mum on just what its plans are for overlaying digital objects onto the real world.

Writing for Bloomberg, intrepid Apple scribe Mark Gurman has dug up a number of details on Apple's work in the space, including some big hires, key deals and product plans. Here are the highlights:

  • Apple is working on its own augmented reality glasses but those should take some time, with the first fruits of the AR push likely to show up on the iPhone itself.
  • The AR effort is being run by former Dolby hardware chief Mike Rockwell, who previously advised Meta, which makes its own augmented reality glasses. Other hires have come from Amazon, Google and Meta.
  • Apple has made acquisitions too. It bought AR software firm Metaio in 2015 and AR camera software firm FlyBy Media last year. It's AR effort will also draw heavily on the company's 2013 acquisitiion of Israeli depth-sensing camera maker Primesense.
  • Hundreds of people are working on AR at Apple, if you include the people doing the underlying iPhone camera work.

Why it matters: AR is seen as a giant new frontier for computing, potentially becoming a to $165 billion market by 2024, according to Global Market Insights. With the smartphone market maturing, Apple needs a big new market to dominate in order to keep growing.

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 15 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.