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HoloLens co-inventor Avi Bar-Zeev has left Apple's AR team

By Cookie Monster - on 7 Feb 2019, 9:00am

HoloLens co-inventor Avi Bar-Zeev has left Apple's AR team

Microsoft's HoloLens.

Hololens co-inventor Avi Bar-Zeev has left his position at Apple last month. 

When contacted by Variety, Bar-Zeev confirmed his departure and said that he "had the best exit one can imagine". While he is not going to comment on any specific product plans, Bar-Zeev shared that he plans to consult in the AR space while "noodling" on the next big thing. 

Bar-Zeev joined Apple in June 2016 and was reportedly part of a multi-disciplinary team at Apple developing AR products. According to his LinkedIn profile, Bar-Zeev led the "experience prototyping team" for "a new effort". He was also involved in the development of key prototypes to rapidly prove concepts, explore, educate and build support. 

Bar-Zeev has nearly 30 years of experience in the AR space. Prior to joining Apple, he helped found and invent HoloLens at Microsoft. Bar-Zeev also co-founded Keyhole, a company that was eventually acquired by Google to be the foundation of Google Maps. He was part of the team at Disney during the 1990s that worked on early VR experiences for the theme parks. 

Apple has been rumored to be working on several AR projects. Bloomberg reported in November 2016 that Apple was considering to expand into digital glasses which could connect wirelessly to the iPhone. At CES 2017, there was speculation that Apple partnered with Carl Zeiss on a pair of AR glasses. Apple could also be working on AR displays for self-driving cars. Last April, Apple was reportedly working on a wireless headset which is capable of supporting AR and VR technology. 

In March 2017, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich claimed that Apple had over 1,000 engineers working on an AR project in Israel which could include "moderate 3D mapping" and a software development kit. Apple made several acquisitions in the AR space including AR firm Metaio in 2015, AR headset startup Vrvana in 2017 and Akonia Holographics in 2018.

Source: Variety via MacRumors