In the beginning of the year, the pound tried to declare the virtual reality "dead" while hyping reinforced reality as the next big thing, but in the real world AR has gone weak. Sales of both consumer and corporate AR headphones have been weak, software development has been modest, and hypedos have seen questionable results. AR has had a great success – the Pokémon Go smartphone game – but nothing else has come close.
Apple has spent nearly three years harassing AR's bright future while handling his medium gift. In July 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly said the AR would be "big" and later confirmed several Apple AR initiatives. However, he suggested that Apple AR hardware was years away: Google's Glass and Microsoft's HoloLens showed that technology was not ready to make a usable consumer AR headset. Instead, Apple launched ARKit, which provided iOS developer tools to build AR software, with Apple sharing the App Store profits.
The messy, semi-embryonic state of the AR partly explains why Apple has not had a marketing manager so far. Last night ̵
A clue as to what is happening is that Casanova is a senior director, who at the Apple totem pole is the step of marketing senior VP Phil Schiller and marketing VP Greg Joswiak, the company's former AR pointsman. Since ARKit was launched in 2017, AR has just been part of the IOS – just a fraction of a piece of the company's software business – and no doubt important enough to fully occupy an important marketing time. To mention Casanova at a dedicated AR market position suggests that it should change.
But with Apple's obvious interest and investment in AR, it's fair to ask if Apple waited too long to create this position. Wouldn't there have been anyone working on this two years ago, just before the ARKit launched?
My opinion is "yes." Apple has had many AR news to share over the past 20 months, but its AR messages have settled down and down during that time – it hits, then disappears, and never seems to make a big impact after the event or become a constant part of popular discussion. A dedicated Apple marketer may have spent the last two years, making AR seem more viable than it does today.
Nevertheless, Apple engineers and managers have not hesitated to push AR. They launched ARKit with 2017 WWDC demos on stage, a spotlight in iOS 11's press release, and hands-on game demonstrations. There have been third-party ARKit developer reports, and even AR-focused ads and debut on the website. At the 2018 WWDC, ARKit 2.0 had an even greater presence, including its own press release, a new hands-on demo site, and an AR object format developed with Adobe. So in October, Apple Rock's hardware development manager Mike Rockwell made his first public presentation on the iPad Pro launch.
One can say that all these developments received either ample or appropriate level of press coverage, even without a marketing director of the AR leading charge. But my belief is that Casanova has the potential to create a larger and more consistent AR story for Apple – potentially one where a timeline of exciting upcoming software and / or hardware releases continues to generate and even turn up the heat for AR over time.  How far I stand, this type of marketing – supported by legitimately valuable products – is essential to regaining interest in AR at this stage. Aside from Pokémon Go, which benefited from a massive existing tabbed base and the Nintendo Series name recognition, and free social media AR face-magnifying apps, average people don't seem anywhere interested in enlarged reality like Tim Cook or many other technologists. There has been no shortage of AR software announcements, such as furniture placement and virtual clothing try-on apps, but little evidence of consumer interest.
Good marketing can change that, although Apple now has an uphill battle to reverse AR's history of overpromising and underdelivery. Big marketing can even convince people to spend hundreds of dollars on any Apple AR hardware. I am excited to see Apple making the pitch in it not too distant the future.