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Apple moves high-profile software exec over to AR team

The head of program management for Apple's software team, Kim Vorrath, has reportedly moved to an augmented reality team within the company, perhaps signalling accelerating work in the field.

ARKit 3.

ARKit 3.


Vorrath is reporting to Mike Rockwell, Apple's VP for AR and VR including both hardware and software, The Information said on Wednesday. Rockwell in turn is responsible to the company's senior VP of Hardware Engineering, Dan Riccio.

Vorrath previously reported to Craig Federighi, the senior VP of Software Engineering, and was tasked with both keeping teams on time and ensuring bug testing. The Information previously described her as an "occasionally short-tempered field marshal," having once slammed her office door so hard that it broke the knob and locked her in. Her superior, Scott Forstall, tried to help open the door for her with a baseball bat.

Her current temperament is unknown. Regardless, her reassignment may reflect Apple's intensifying efforts in AR. The company revealed ARKit 3 at WWDC 2019, and the cameras on 2018 iPhones were designed with AR in mind. 2020 iPhones could include time-of-flight sensors, and the company is widely believed to be working on an AR headset that could launch as soon as 2020.

Recently the company hired Nat Brown, a veteran in the VR industry. Those skills could easily translate to AR.