Avi Bar-Zeev leaves Apple AR project

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Avi Bar-Zeev, a product manager widely believed to be working on an augmented reality (AR) device for Apple, left his position at the company last month.

Confirming his exit from Apple after being contacted by journalists, Bar-Zeev said in a series of Twitter posts that he had “the best exit one can imagine”, adding: “I feel fortunate to have had so many great opportunities to contribute and work with amazing people. I will consult, advise, write & speak in the AR space, launch some new projects, while noodling on the ‘next big thing’ that builds on the great work happening in this space.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Bar-Zeev has been a “pioneer, architect and adviser” in AR, virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality for more than 25 years.

He helped found and invent HoloLens at Microsoft, and launch PrimeAir at Amazon. He also co-founded the company behind Google Earth in 1999 and subsequently helped define Second Life’s core technology.

Bar-Zeev worked on VR experiences for Disney in the 1990s, including Aladdin’s Magic Carpet VR Ride, the Virtual Jungle Cruise and Cyberspace Mountain. He currently runs Reality Prime, a technology blog and consultancy.

It’s unclear exactly what Bar-Zeev was working on at Apple, but it has been reported to be an AR headset that would handle some iPhone functions.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has hundreds of people working on the effort and is seeking to launch the device as early as 2020.