AR/VR pioneer and Hololens co-inventor Avi Bar-Zeev has left Apple

“AR/VR pioneer and Hololens co-inventor Avi Bar-Zeev left Apple last month, Variety has learned,” Janko Roettgers reports for Variety. “Bar-Zeev had been working on Apple’s augmented reality headset, which the company has been developing in secret for a possible 2020 launch.”

“Bar-Zeev confirmed his departure when contacted by Variety, saying: ‘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,'” Roettgers reports. “He added that he planned to consult in the AR space while ‘noodling’ on the next big thing.”

“Bar-Zeev has been working in the AR/VR space for close to three decades. Back in the ’90s, he was part of a team at Disney that worked on some early VR experiences for the company’s theme parks, including ‘Aladdin’s Magic Carpet’ VR ride,” Roettgers reports. “He then went on to co-found Keyhole, the company that later got acquired by Google to become the foundation of Google Maps. After a brief stint at Linden Lab, Bar-Zeev worked for four years at Microsoft. ‘He helped found and invent Hololens at Microsoft, assembling the very first AR prototypes, demos and UX concepts, sufficient to convince his leadership,’ according to his LinkedIn bio.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Some people like the excitement of germinating ideas, nurturing them, and letting them get a foothold. Once it gets past that point, it gets boring for them; longterm tending is not their thing. Bar-Zeev strikes us as someone who’s always looking for a new challenge. Perhaps Bar-Zeev’s departure means that Apple Glasses are now at the post where they’re past the exciting invention stage and have progressed into the refinement stage?

Apple working on new iPhones with powerful 3-D camera and laser scanner in augmented reality push – January 30, 2019
Apple patent reveals ongoing work on micro-LED displays for holographic imagery – November 9, 2018
What’s happening with Apple’s secret augmented reality glasses project? – November 8, 2018
Apple’s Akonia acquisition points towards ‘Apple glasses’ – August 30, 2018
Apple buys Akonia Holographics, a startup focused on lenses for AR glasses – August 30, 2018
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple Glasses coming in 2020 – August 15, 2018
Gene Munster: Apple will release Apple Glasses late in 2021 – May 17, 2018
Apple patent application reveals work on eye-tracking technology for VR and AR headsets – April 27, 2018
Apple prepping Micro-LED displays for Apple Watch and Smartglasses for 2019, sources say – April 3, 2018
Apple CEO Cook on the future of fashion, shopping, and AR smartglasses – October 11, 2017
Apple’s AR smartglasses – understanding the issues – August 29, 2017
Bernstein: Apple’s ‘smartglasses’ opportunity ‘could be enormous’ – August 25, 2017
Apple working on several prototypes of AR glasses – August 4, 2017
Apple’s next big move: Augmented reality – August 3, 2017
Apple’s rumored new glasses will be an even bigger deal than the iPhone – July 28, 2017
Apple smart glasses are inevitable – July 28, 2017


  1. That’s because he knows Cook is never going to do didley squat with the technology.

    Cook’s game plan for the next 8-years:

    Blame China for everthing

    Ignore the Mac in perpetuity

    Milk iOS products with minor improvements

    Raise prices by 40% each quarter

    Do celebrity interviews

    March in parades

    Talk about the mythical pipeline when cornered

    Collapse the stock whenever the puppy tugs at the green curtain


  2. Wonder why he’s not headed to Broadway. I’m guessing he doesn’t that he doesn’t NEED to stay in technology. Producing plays with your wife, according to folks that post here, is SO much like running a multi-billion dollar tech company, that you’re bound to definitely keep your edge.

    I mean, consulting in the AR space while ‘noodling’ on the next big thing? Forstall didn’t do that and he’s STILL first in line to become CEO of one of the world’s largest tech companies. This fellow needs to get a clue. Well, he’s already not following the Forstall success plan as he left of his own volition instead of being kicked out, but that’s SUCH an inconsequential detail.

  3. Sigh…Zerorandy posts incessantly.

    My opinion in this departure is that Apple should create an area in the corporation that cultivates people focused on germinating ideas. Don’t let them get bored or uncomfortable by forcing them into the implementation stages of a product cycle. Some people create ideas, some people refine them, some people manufacture them, and some people market them. Don’t lose good people by forcing them into the wrong situation.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.