Apple’s interest in augmented reality has become pretty clear over the last couple of years, and just this past week it acquired a startup focused on building lenses for AR glasses.

As if Apple’s growing AR ambitions weren’t already clear enough, diving into the company’s hiring trends reveals even more.

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Thinknum is out this week with a closer look at Apple’s hiring trends related to augmented reality. Job postings from the company show a clear ramp in positions related to “AR Application.” As for what specific applications Apple is referring to here, one possibility seems to be Apple Maps.

In the job description for an Apple Maps position, Apple touts how mapping products are still in their “infancy,” with new technologies like LIDAR and augmented reality set to shake things up:

“Digital maps have become essential tools of our everyday lives, yet despite their ubiquity, they are still in their infancy. From urban mobility to indoor positioning, from LIDAR to Augmented Reality, advances in technology and new kinds of data are powering innovations in all areas of digital mapping. If you love maps and are passionate about what is possible, you will be in great company.”

Another job listing for an ‘iOS/macOS Engineer” doesn’t go as much into quite as much detail, but still requires applicants have “familiarity with Maps and Core Location APIs” and “familiarity with augmented reality APIs.”

Solutions from third-party developers have shown how AR can be used in improve Maps and navigation, so it only makes sense for it to be a central focus for Apple, as well. Further, Apple is in the middle of rebuilding Apple Maps from the ground up – making this a clear opportunity to differentiate itself with AR features.

Hiring trends aren’t necessarily clear indications of product roadmaps, but in many instances they can signal where Apple is focusing at least some of its attention. Would you be interested in seeing more AR features in Maps? Let us know down in the comments!


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