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: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

Top Rated Comments

sfwalter Avatar
66 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
66 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
66 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
66 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
66 months ago
He could’t see the reality of staying. :p
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
66 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

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

Will Your iPhone Support iOS 18? Here's What the Latest Rumor Says

Thursday February 29, 2024 7:29 am PST by
iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 are still over three months away from being unveiled, but we may already know which devices will be compatible with the updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, meaning that the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR from 2018 will remain supported for at least another year, according to information shared this week by a source with a...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

OLED iPad Pro's Thin Design Highlighted in CAD Drawings

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:22 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new version of the iPad Pro that is set to launch as soon as March, and the refresh will mark the biggest design update to the Pro lineup since 2018. Apple is transitioning to OLED displays, and the swap will allow for a major change to the overall thickness of the device. CAD drawings of the upcoming ~11-inch and ~13-inch iPad Pro models give us some insight into just...