On Twitter, current Apple manager Hayden Lee published the listing. Lee co-founded Convrge and Bigscreen, two social VR companies. According to his LinkedIn page, he was hired by Apple in mid-2020 to work on AR/VR and promoted to manager in October.
Apple advertised a position for a ‘AR/VR Frameworks Engineer,’ with the job description stating that the position entails “creating a totally new application paradigm.”
Instead of reinventing the wheel, developers may utilise a software framework, which is a collection of components, materials, and functionality. What’s intriguing about this listing is how it alluded to Apple’s approach to AR/VR software.
You will be researching and developing an entirely new application paradigm – a challenge that will demand rapid experimentation and prototyping without sacrificing code quality or attention to detail. Working closely with Apple’s UI frameworks, Human Interface designers and system software teams – this role will push you to think outside-the-box, and solve incredibly ambitious and interesting problems in the AR/VR space. You will have access to a wide variety of internal frameworks and services that will allow you to build software that is deeply integrated into our operating systems.
The job description mentions “distributed systems” – software that operates on numerous synchronised networked computers (or, in this case, headsets) – and requires real-time experience. The job itself is characterised as follows:
The reference to “an entirely new application paradigm” that is “deeply integrated into our operating systems” in a networked framework role suggests Apple might be exploring providing developers with high level tools to build inherently multi-user spatial apps. Such a framework could result in apps which can seamlessly be run by multiple headsets in the same space, or across the internet, with synchronized components like UI which follow best practices.
All of this is possible today manually or with a combination of 3rd party frameworks in engines like Unity and Unreal. But with ARKit’s RealityKit and RealityComposer Apple has already shown a desire to provide higher level tools handling tasks like materials, shadows, physics, animations, spatial audio, and more. This lets Apple work on perfecting these core technologies while developers focus on building the actual content instead of needing to replicate each themselves. For the user, that means more consistency and quality between applications, even those made with a low budget.