Apple has hired Jeff Norris, a specialist in the new technology from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to help build augmented reality products, Bloomberg reports.
Norris founded the Mission Operations Innovation Office of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, where he led efforts to create new ways to control spacecraft and robots in space with virtual and augmented reality.
According to Bloomberg, Norris joined Apple earlier this year as a senior manager on the company's augmented reality team run by former Dolby Labs executive Mike Rockwell. Rockwell's team is working on a pair of AR glasses and related features for future versions of the iPhone, people familiar with those plans told Bloomberg in March.
Representatives of Apple and NASA's JPL declined to comment.
Norris's NASA projects included issuing headsets to scientists on the ground so they could experience live views on Mars and providing Microsoft HoloLens headsets to astronauts living in the International Space Station.
Apple hopes to bring AR-related hardware to market as soon as 2018.