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.

hololens

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: AR/VR Headset

Top Rated Comments

sfwalter Avatar
54 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)
ipedro Avatar
54 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)
69Mustang Avatar
54 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)
ipedro Avatar
54 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)
sinsin07 Avatar
54 months ago
He could’t see the reality of staying. :p
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
54 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 17 on Phone Feature

Gurman: iOS 17 to Provide Several 'Most Requested Features'

Sunday March 26, 2023 6:05 am PDT by
Apple changed the strategy for iOS 17 later in its development process to add several new features, suggesting that the update may be more significant than previously thought, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In January, Gurman said that iOS 17 could be a less significant update than iPhone updates in previous years due to the company's intense focus on its long-awaited mixed-reality...
dynamic island

iPhone 15 Dynamic Island to Include New Integrated Proximity Sensor

Friday March 24, 2023 12:27 am PDT by
This year, all iPhone 15 models will include Apple's Dynamic Island that unifies the pill and hole cutouts at the top of the display, but there will also be a material change to the feature that wasn't included in the iPhone 14 Pro models. According to a new tweet by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the proximity sensor on the iPhone 15 series will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island ...
top stories 25mar2023

Top Stories: iPhone 15 Pro Design Leak, iOS 16.4 Coming Soon, and More

Saturday March 25, 2023 6:00 am PDT by
We're still almost six months away from the official unveiling of the iPhone 15 lineup, but it seems like every day we're learning more about what to expect from the next-generation models. Notably, this week gave us our clearest look yet at what appear to be some changes for the volume and mute control hardware. iOS 16.4 and associated releases are also right around the corner with some new ...
Hero0009

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Samsung's Smart Monitor M8 Gets Massive $250 Discount, Along With Year's Best AirPods Prices

Friday March 24, 2023 10:23 am PDT by
We saw a lot of great deals on Apple products and related accessories this week, including Samsung's iMac-like Smart Monitor M8 for $250 off, a 30 percent off spring sale at Anker, and the year's best prices on numerous AirPods models. All of these deals are still available to purchase right now, so we're recapping them and more below. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these ...
Steve Jobs Theater dusk

Apple Reportedly Demoed Mixed-Reality Headset to Executives in the Steve Jobs Theater Last Week

Sunday March 26, 2023 5:53 am PDT by
Apple showcased its mixed-reality headset to the company's top 100 executives in the Steve Jobs Theater last week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that the "momentous gathering" is a "key milestone" ahead of the headset's public announcement planned for June. The event was intended to rally Apple's top members of...
apple mixed reality headset concept by david lewis and marcus kane

Some Apple Employees Seriously Concerned About Mixed-Reality Headset as Announcement Draws Closer

Sunday March 26, 2023 8:25 am PDT by
Some Apple employees are concerned about the usefulness and price point of the company's upcoming mixed-reality headset, The New York Times reports. Apple headset concept by David Lewis and Marcus Kane Initial enthusiasm around the device at the company has apparently become skepticism, according to eight current and former Apple employees speaking to The New York Times. The change of tone...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple feature purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumor Recap: 10 New Features and Changes to Expect

Thursday March 23, 2023 6:42 am PDT by
While the iPhone 15 series is still around six months away from launching, there have already been plenty of rumors about the devices. Many new features and changes have been rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular. Below, we have recapped 10 changes rumored for iPhone 15 Pro models that are not expected to be available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:A1...
iOS 16

iOS 16.4 Will Add These 8 New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday March 26, 2023 8:06 am PDT by
Following nearly six weeks of beta testing, iOS 16.4 is expected to be released to the public as soon as this week. The software update includes a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone 8 and newer. To install an iOS update, open the Settings app on the iPhone, tap General → Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions. Below, we have recapped eight new features and...