HoloLens Inventor Avi Bar-Zeev Departs Apple's AR/VR Team
Avi Bar-Zeev, who was the co-creator of Microsoft's HoloLens, has left his position at Apple, reports Variety.
Bar-Zeev was reportedly working on Apple's augmented reality headset, which rumors have suggested could launch as early as 2020. Bar-Zeev left his position at Apple in January and provided the following statement to Variety:
"I left my full-time position at Apple in January. I had the best exit one can imagine. I have only nice things to say about Apple and won't comment on any specific product plans."
Prior to joining Apple, Bar-Zeev worked at Microsoft and helped to found and invent the HoloLens, Microsoft's mixed reality headset. Before that, he worked at Disney and helped develop VR experiences, and he worked at Keyhole, a company that was purchased by Google and became the foundation of Apple Maps.
Bar-Zeev had been at Apple since 2016, presumably on the AR/VR team. His LinkedIn profile said that he led the "experience prototyping" team "for a new effort."
"Developed key prototypes to rapidly prove concepts, explore, educate and build support. Developed user stories and technical requirements for the long-term roadmap, while working across design and engineering to ensure success," reads Bar-Zeev's profile.
Since an intrepid reporter just asked me to comment, I'll share this with y'all too... I left my full-time position at Apple in January. I had the best exit one can imagine. I have only nice things to say about Apple and won't comment on any specific product plans. 1/2 — Avi Bar-Zeev (@avibarzeev) February 4, 2019
For the record, I helped invent Hololens and built the first prototypes to sell the idea. If I hadn't been there in January 2010, it might have started later without my help. Let's never forget the thousands of smart people who made it real. — Avi Bar-Zeev (@avibarzeev) February 4, 2019
Rumors have suggested Apple has a secret research unit comprising hundreds of employees working on AR and VR, exploring ways the emerging technologies can be used in future products.
Apple is said to have developed multiple virtual and augmented reality headset prototypes, and rumors seem to have coalesced around a pair of smart glasses that will be coming as soon as next year.
The Apple Glasses supposedly have a dedicated display, a built-in processor, and an "rOS" reality operating system based on iOS.
There have also been a few rumors suggesting Apple is also exploring a powerful AR/VR headset with 8K displays for each eye and support for both AR and VR applications.
It's not entirely clear just yet what Apple's first augmented or virtual reality headset will look like, but we may not have too much longer to wait to find out.