Apple Shifts 'Bug Wrangler' to AR Team to 'Bring Some Order' to AR Headset Development

Apple has moved one of its software executives over to the division developing an augmented reality headset with the intent of bringing "some order" to the team, reports The Information.

Kim Vorrath, who has led program management on the software development team for over 15 years, has now moved over to the AR and virtual reality team, headed up by Mike Rockwell. Rockwell oversees close to a dozen people working on AR and VR software and hardware.

An Apple Glasses concept

According to The Information, Vorrath was a "powerful force" on the software team, making sure employees met deadlines while also testing software to find and fix bugs. She could bring some of that same expertise to the AR team as it works to develop software for the augmented reality headset that's rumored to be in the works.

Earlier this month, a report from DigiTimes suggested Apple had disbanded the team working on an augmented reality glasses project and had assigned them to other products, but it's not clear if that's accurate, especially given the new report from The Information about Vorrath's move.

Over the course of the last couple of years, multiple sources have said that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses. Bloomberg in 2017 said that the glasses could launch as early as 2020, though a source that spoke to The Information says it is unclear if the team will meet that deadline.

There are some mixed rumors about Apple's work on an AR/VR headset, suggesting multiple products are in the works and being tested. Bloomberg believes Apple is working on a headset that will use custom iOS-based "rOS" (reality operating system) software, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple will market its smart glasses as an iPhone accessory.

CNET in April 2018 said that Apple is working on an augmented reality/virtual reality headset that features an 8K display for each eye and that is untethered from a computer or smartphone, connecting instead to a "dedicated box" over high-speed short-range WiGig technology. CNET said that it will support both augmented and virtual reality.

It's unclear what kind of project Apple will ultimately come out with given the various rumors we've heard, but it sounds like there still may be a headset or glasses in the works despite the rumors of the AR headset team being disbanded.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago
I'm still holding out hope that one day there will be AR built into vehicle windshields. That could pave the way for true heads-up operation including GPS turn-by-turn, etc.
[doublepost=1564599797][/doublepost]

State-of-the-art AR glasses coming next year from any company, not just Apple, is laughable. I have no doubt they'll be the future, especially for the wearables category, but we're talking well into the next decade before they're as mainstream as say, smart watches and wireless headphones.

I don't know... if done correctly I could see it ramping up quickly. It seemed like one day trackers & smart watches were just being released, then BOOM everyone seemed to have one.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

State-of-the-art AR glasses coming next year from any company, not just Apple, is laughable. I have no doubt they'll be the future, especially for the wearables category, but we're talking well into the next decade before they're as mainstream as say, smart watches and wireless headphones.

Um, "the next decade" is about 5 months away (for starters).
#YesIFeelOldToo
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
And Kim's track record so far has been...? There's sure been a lot of bugs in things lately. Stuff has been released that wasn't really ready for prime time lately. Her "powerful force" doesn't seem to be what's needed.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

I still don't get AR outside gaming. All the use cases can already be solved through cheaper, more accurate methods. The hardware just isn't there yet from a quality and cost perspective. You can execute simple marketing and sales AR experiences through phones and tablets.

You could do email and browse the web on a laptop perfectly fine, so why invent the iPhone?

It really doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see a future where a new version of the internet is overlaid on top of the real world, in real time. Where we connect with the real world rather than get lost in glass slabs. Where technology gets out of the way and augments your life, popping in with information and communication, rather than steal away your attention.

Just as Uber and Instagram couldn’t have been possible or even imagined without the iPhone, what applications are going to be invented for AR will only happen when there are millions of us walking around with AR glasses on our faces.

I can imagine a social media type network where your friends’ experiences would be shown to you as you walk the city. Walk by a restaurant and a little bubble can pop up showing your friend’s review, maybe a little video of a fun moment they had there.

An AR dating app might show you available singles around you who choose to broadcast themselves. You walk into a bar and you look at a cute girl with a heart over her head, read a little profile bio, slide through some photos, say you’re interested. Earlier, she has noticed you and also swipe you right. You’re a match. Oh yeah, let me go talk to her.

Information will be embedded in the real world with AR glasses.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
That concept is hideous.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
You can also charge them on your AirPower mat. Oh wait...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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