Avi Bar-Zeev, HoloLens co-inventor and longtime AR/VR stalwart, has left Apple, Variety reports.

Bar-Zeev helped found and invent the core technologies behind HoloLens at Microsoft, assembling the company’s very first AR prototypes, demos and UX concepts.

According to his LinkenIn bio, Bar-Zeev worked on HoloLens (first dubbed ‘Screen Zero’, then ‘Fortaleza’) up until 2012 when he left Microsoft to found his own company Syntertainment.

Among the list of Bar-Zeev’s other accolades over the past 25+ years: co-founder of the company behind Google Earth, co-creator of the core technology behind Second Life, and co-creator of Disney’s ’90s-era “Aladdin’s Magic Carpet” VR Ride.

Report: Apple Developing AR/VR Headset with 8K Resolution Per-eye Slated for 2020

According to Variety, Bar-Zeev was involved in the creation of an unannounced Apple AR headset—something a supposed Apple insider said may see a possible 2020 launch. Bar-Zeev officially stepped down from his position as senior manager of prototype development last month, which included work on “a new effort” for Apple.

“I left my full-time position at Apple in January,” Bar-Zeev told Variety. “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.”

Bar-Zeev’s next steps aren’t certain, although he says he’s planning on consulting in the AR industry while exploring what may be next in the space.

If the tweet below means anything, he probably won’t be heading to Facebook/Oculus anytime soon.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Jistuce

    “I have only nice things to say about Apple and won’t comment on any specific product plans.”

    That means there’s nothing nice to say about theire product plans?
    (I know what he meant, but combining the two statements like that adds unintended implications)

    • I think that it means that he knows a lot, but can’t tell

      • Jistuce

        I am pretty sure the sentence is supposed to be two unrelated sentences that were unfortunately mashed together.
        I’d also bet he’s not even allowed to say how much he knows about future plans.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Looks like he realized a company on the decline, and is jumping ship. Apple recently stopped their push to make an EV, because it was to hard for them, and the same is happening with their HMD.

  • Gnoll

    This is a polarized decision. It will either be extremely good or extremely bad. On one hand it could mean that Apple has a really poor plan for AR headsets and he doesn’t want to be there when it goes down. On the other hand he could be leaving because he wants to start an AR business that’s going to ride the wave of Apple AR. I think it’s the latter, I think he wants to be one of the first companies out of the gate to ride the Apple AR headset as soon as it launches. This strategy is common with well-known execs where they pioneer technology for a third-party. Why just collect a salary when you have a first-mover and competitive advantage that gives you the power to create a company dedicated to your vision? You work on what you want to work on, you’re years ahead of competition and you make more money, it’s a no-brainer.