Apple’s AR glasses team gets a new, no-nonsense leader

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Apple‘s AR glasses project may have gotten a big boost from a new leader with long experience herding developers.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The top-secret group at Apple developing a pair of Augmented Reality glasses reportedly has a new leader. Kim Vorrath has been with the company for many years, and is now in charge of all Apple’s AR efforts.

Vorrath’s role could be “bringing order to the AR headset team,” according to The Information, who broke the news of this management change. She reportedly has something in common with Apple founder Steve Jobs: quite a temper.

Apple AR glasses are on/off

Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted earlier this year that Apple will launch a pair of augmented reality glasses in 2020. These reportedly will function as an iPhone accessory, and would overlay computer-generated information onto the wearer’s view of the real world.

But there seems to be trouble in development. One of the designers of Microsoft’s HoloLens AR glasses had worked at Apple for years but left the company in January. And a recent sketchy report indicated Apple might have even dropped the whole glasses project.

On the other side of the coin, Nat Brown, who most recently was part of Valve’s Virtual Reality team, jumped to Apple this week.

No one outside the company fully knows what’s going on because the AR glasses project has been kept so secret. But not everything is a rumor. Apple openly works on augmented reality in general. Its ARKit offers developers the ability to create AR applications for iPhone and iPad.

Vorrath spent 15 years coordinating debugging efforts for all Apple’s operating systems, and making sure developers made their deadlines. Stacey Lysik will allegedly take over this responsibility.