A flurry of new job listings for Apple’s secretive ‘Technology Development Group’ suggests that the company has reached a new phase of turning its years of AR/VR R&D into actual upcoming products. Two of the most intriguing among the new job listings are the roles of ‘AR/VR Demo Evangelist’ and ‘Product Manager, AR/VR’.

It’s no secret that Apple has been doing lots of R&D in the AR and VR space for years now. The company was seeking candidates with relevant experience at least as far back as 2014, and has been actively building up AR functionality in its iOS products. However, Apple only barely dipped its toe into VR, but in recent years has become publicly silent on the subject.

Something interesting about the company’s latest hiring activity is that it’s now specifically looking for roles headlined with ‘AR/VR’, where previous listings generally only mentioned AR up front. It’s difficult to say if the change marks a meaningful difference in what the company is working toward, or the progress therein, but some of the listings themselves offer significant clues.

With most activity coming in just the last week, the company listed at least 11 new jobs for ‘AR/VR’ headlined roles specifically (while heaps more indicate a requirement or preference for AR and VR experience deeper in the job listing):

AR/VR Graphics Engineer May 3, 2019
AR/VR System UI Engineer Jun 17, 2019
AR/VR Software Engineer Jun 19, 2019
AR/VR Realtime 3D Software Engineer Jul 2, 2019
AR/VR System Frameworks Engineer Jul 23, 2019
Senior Embedded AR/VR Quality Engineer Jul 24, 2019
AR/VR Software Tools Developer Jul 24, 2019
AR/VR Demo Evangelist Jul 24, 2019
Embedded AR/VR Quality Engineer Jul 24, 2019
AR/VR System Software Engineer Jul 24, 2019
Product Manager, AR/VR Aug 1, 2019


One of the most notable roles is the ‘AR/VR Demo Evangelist’, which is tasked with literally giving internal AR/VR demos at the company, as well as engaging in user research and generally introducing and inspiring the broader Apple team (including executives) with exciting tech demos.

The AR/VR Demo Evangelist will execute project demos, user research investigations, and cross functional lab efforts.

In this role, you will be responsible for facilitating state of the art demos to a large range of audiences. You will partner with applications and product design teams to drive various internal user research studies, while supporting multi- functional lab and competitive analysis efforts. Working with highly specialized engineers and PM’s.

This most likely means one of two things: 1) Apple’s AR/VR R&D has moved into the productization stage, so the company now needs someone internally to start showing the rest of the company what the new tech can do and how to start thinking about it & building for it. Or 2), Apple just wants someone who can take off the shelf AR/VR hardware and content and start showing it around the company to generally familiarize the broader Apple team with the potential of AR/VR. It’s difficult to say, but another job listing makes #1 seem most likely.

The ‘Product Manager, AR/VR’ listing is significant because the Product Manager role typically describes someone which oversees the processes of turning R&D into an actual product offering. A Product Manager, for instance, might decide what features and specs are or aren’t important for the product, what the product should look like, what kind of customer it’s for, and create a roadmap for actually getting the product to market.

Update (August 5, 2019): The ‘Product Manager, AR/VR’ job listing page was removed shortly after this article was published, possibly because the position quickly filled, but perhaps more likely because Apple didn’t like how much information the listing revealed.

Indeed, Apple’s listing says it’s looking for a candidate with “a track record for shipping complex new technology, ideally in the AR/VR space” who will be tasked with “creat[ing] and lead[ing] the product roadmap for the subject portfolio,” with these qualifications, among others:

  • 5+ years experience in Product Management of consumer facing digital products, or, 3+ years Product Management experience in AR/VR technology with consumer facing experiences.
  • A deep understanding of the Apple ecosystem and the AR/VR market, technologies and applications.

Of course this calls into question recent rumors that Apple suspended work on its consumer AR headset. If those rumors are actually true, it’s quite possible that (with all of the R&D Apple has been doing in this space) that the ‘cancellation’ was actually Apple eliminating one or more internal ventures in favor of bringing another to market. Other reports indicate that Apple may be targeting its first headset product for 2020.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Lucio Lima

    Good news!!!

  • K E

    This is cool. The question is, if they’re hiring all these people now, are they already so far along that they’ll have a product for sale next year?

  • Justos

    I wonder if this is indication that they are taking VR more seriously.

    Quest has them shook on what VR can be?

    • Bob

      Quest doesn’t have a competitor right now although I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple launched something similar by the end of next year which would then compete with the Quest. That would be extremely interesting and very healthy for the industry as a whole :)

  • So much for reports they were getting out of the space, what was that like a month ago lol?

    • Peter K

      Yeah… People just jump on the wagon without really thinking lol, Apple spent way too much $$ to be giving up right now. It’s definitely in the production stage now

    • Bob

      I think this is a sort of deliberate reaction to those unfounded rumors; Apple going on a hiring spree to indirectly show the public that they have no intention of pulling out of this extremely lucrative and emerging market.

  • Peter K

    Regardless of their business practices, more competition is always better for us consumers. ->Insert Nvidia jokes<-

  • sntxrrr

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Apple only wants to be the go-to solution for AR/VR production, just as they are in many other design fields.

  • Dedicated to all the people that said that Apple was abandoning AR

  • Francesco Fazio

    Cook can go suck a c**** ! :)

  • Apple is getting into the VR business because it’s going to make it easier for them to spy on your habits and to brainwash the masses into accepting their New World Order values. Apple is not about products, but only exists to sermonize to the world. With the growing trend of censorship, we will see a persistent push by Apple to marginalize non-compliant individuals by shutting off their VR hardware. This is the first step to mass brainwashing on a global scale. I encourage all to read my latest book to find out how deep they’ve burrowed into your mind and your personal life. Protect yourself at all costs.