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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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

2 hours ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

3 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.