One of Apple’s AR team members departs

In March 2017,  Bloomberg reported that Apple has built an augmented reality (AR) team of hundreds of engineers “combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders” and is “very serious about AR. Now one of those team members has left.

Avi Bar-Zeev, who worked on the HoloLens and Google Earth, told Variety that he left the tech giant in January. However, he didn’t say why, though he added that he planned to consult in the AR market, while “noodling” on his next venture..

“I had the best exit one can imagine,” Bar-Zeev told Variety. I have only nice things to say about Apple and won’t comment on any specific product plans.”

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Run by a former Dolby Laboratories executive (Mark Rockwell), Apple’s augmented reality group includes engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens virtual reality headsets sold by Facebook and Microsoft, as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood.

Among them,: Cody White, former lead engineer of Amazon's Lumberyard virtual reality platform; Duncan McRoberts, Meta's former director of software development; and Yury Petrov, a former Oculus researcher. Apple has rounded out the team with iPhone, camera and optical lens engineers. 

Apple’s VR/AR headset — which I’ve dubbed “iGlasses” — are expected to debut next year. In a blog post, venture capitalist Gene Munster opined that Apple sees its AR future as a combination of the iPhone and some form of a wearable (those iGlasses).