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.

Microsoft's HoloLens

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.



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.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
21 months ago

Vaporware but will be spun as just a hobby

Ummm how can it be vaporware if Apple has never announced a product. Heck we don't even know what the often rumored VR product will be. Vaporware is when a company announces and/or demos a product but never shipped it. The charging mat can be considered vaporware.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
A major new product will have been largely finished by now if it’s coming out in 2020. At this point in the cycle, they’re working on marketing and planning mass production.

I can only see this amicable departure as “my job here is done”.

As the iPhone has reached a growth ceiling and the Watch and AirPods have become Apple’s current successes with years of growth ahead, it’s clear that wearables is the future of the company.

The trifecta of Watch + AirPods + Glasses have the potential to replace the iPhone as the always on us personal computer. 2020 is going to be a very important year for Apple.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
"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

The least humble of humble brags. :p:D
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago

Here's a little secret about augmented and mixed reality - it's a cool technology that's looking for a problem to solve. What it does can be done through cheaper (and better at this point) technologies.

Was a pocketable computer a technology looking for a problem to solve? I mean, we already had powerful laptops that we could carry with us.

Have some vision. Omnipresent, yet unobtrusive technology is the future. That only happens if we can wear it. The Watch and AirPods are already here. The final piece are the glasses to superimpose information onto the real world.

In the near future, we'll walk around with just our Watch which will be the centre of our digital lives. It'll host our digital assistant who we'll interact with primarily through voice. It'll be where we have access to all of our own personal data as well as all the publicly available information on the internet. It'll be how we communicate and how we are reached by others. It's also the most personal of personal computers, attached to our wrist, pressed against our skin measuring our vital data and making sense of it to help us improve our health and lead to a better quality of life.

AirPods are an optional extension of that. Our assistant in our ears, a way to enjoy music, podcasts, news or have conversations.

Want to watch something on a bigger screen? Apple is making an aggressive push to have AirPlay everywhere. Odds will be that there's a screen around you that you can AirPlay to from your Watch. Want a screen always on you? No problem, you can fit a foldable iPad into your pocket or you can wear Apple Glasses.

Aside from providing the big screen component to the Watch, Augment Reality Glasses are the third revolution of the Internet. Rather than going to the internet to search for and consume information, the internet will be all around us, superimposed on to the real world. We won't go to Yelp to get reviews on a restaurant. We'll be out to eat and look around and see reviews of the restaurants around us. You won't go to Instagram. You'll look around and see photos people are sharing hovering over them. Want to know who's single and made themselves available? That cute girl seated a few tables away with her friends at your fav sushi place, she shared her single status. Welcome to the new Tinder.

The future is wearables. It's going to happen whether or not you've realized it yet. In fact, it's already happening.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
He could’t see the reality of staying. :p
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago

I can only assume that turnover rate is high with apple company.

Based on what? The 10 MR articles per year announcing that one of their 130,000 employees has left?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Rumor Report Card: Assessing the Accuracy of Leaks After Apple's Event

Friday September 18, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
Apple hosted its virtual "Time Flies" event this week, where it introduced four new products, including the Apple Watch Series 6, lower-cost Apple Watch SE, a 10.9-inch iPad Air with an all-screen design, and an updated 10.2-inch iPad with a faster A12 Bionic chip. As expected, there were no new iPhones, which are believed to be coming in October instead. Apple also announced that it will be ...

Epic Games Announces 'Fortnite: Save the World' Will No Longer Be Playable on macOS

Friday September 18, 2020 4:50 am PDT by
Epic Games has announced that "Fortnite: Save the World" will no longer be playable on macOS, after Apple terminated Epic Games' developer account. Fortnite has been in violation of the ‌App Store‌ rules since August 13, when it introduced a direct payment option that skirted Apple's in-app purchase system by allowing payments directly to ‌Epic Games‌. Shortly after Epic blatantly...

Deals: Cellular Carriers Introduce First Offers on Apple Watch Series 6 and SE

Friday September 18, 2020 7:43 am PDT by
With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE today, cellular carriers have now introduced special offers for these new wearable devices. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Starting with AT&T, if you buy one Apple Watch Series 3, Series...