In 2019, the demand growth for augmented reality and virtual reality engineers skyrocketed 1400% from the previous year, surpassing the demand for blockchain engineers (the most in-demand skill in 2018). Venture capital investment in augmented reality and virtual reality hit $4.1 billion in 2019, with many billions more being invested in R&D by the likes of Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more.
It comes without surprise that both Silicon Valley titans and newly launched startups are all vying to hire AR developers, designers, product managers, and many others.
Startups Hiring for Augmented Reality Jobs
Let’s take a deeper dive into which startups are hiring for augmented reality jobs and which positions they are typically hiring for.
After raising a $30,000,000 Series B that included celebrity investors like Alex Rodriguez and Scooter Braun, Wave has been on a hiring spree. Their platform for virtual concerts featuring avatars has garnered big interest in a post-COVID world and they’re betting big on immersive personalized experiences at the cross-section of gaming and entertainment.
The company was founded in 2016 and has hosted virtual concerts featuring artists like John Legend, Imogen Heap, & Lindsey Stirling. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and, because of their deep entertainment/production focus, is hiring for positions like Media Artist, Broadcast Producer, Director of Show Marketing, alongside more traditional AR tech positions like Graphics Engineer and Senior Web Developer.
After emerging from stealth in 2018, Spatial has been making news for its holographic enabled meeting platform. Their goal is to become the preferred meeting space for both enterprise and consumer audiences and their realistic virtual avatars have already been adopted by major companies like Mattel and Nestle. Their Oculus app allows real-time collaboration without ever leaving your home.
Because their platform showcases life-like avatars, they typically hire for “holographic” roles that include 2D/3D design and engineers that have both AR/VR software experience and AR/VR hardware experience. As of November 2020, they’re hiring for both New York and San Francisco positions.
Focusing solely on enterprise as of now, Mira’s augmented reality headsets give users an immersive view of industrial environments, like explosive grade chemical manufacturing, and military equipment maintenance.
They’ve raised over $22 million in funding for their AR wearables from seasoned investors like Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, Greylock Capital, and Marc Benioff. Because they’re both an AR software company and an AR hardware company, they’re hiring for marketing positions like Content Creator and Demand Generation Lead, and manufacturing/hardware positions like Hardware Test Engineer and Supply Chain Manager.
A company still in stealth, but with founder pedigree from Apple. The two co-founders of Humane have spent a combined 20+ years at Apple, leading their engineering and interaction/design teams, and are now building their own immersive wearable device.
There isn’t a lot of public detail on the company, but evidence points to some sort of wearable camera, with next-generation artificial intelligence/machine learning that’s constantly scanning the world around you. It will connect to your Bluetooth headset and you’ll be able to ask Humane questions about the real world, like if Alexa or Siri was with you at all times, and they had eyes.
They’re a hardware and camera heavy company and are hiring for engineers with optical and imaging experience and software engineers who have experience with machine learning and mobile devices.
The New York Times (Research & Development)
The Research & Development team within The New York Times is treated like a small company within a larger company. Their goal is to push the limits of storytelling and explore how emerging technologies can be applied to journalism.
The New York Times recently announced a partnership with Facebook and are using augmented reality experiences on Instagram to create immersive journalism. Since the launch, they’ve created augmented reality experiences for COVID-19 and California wildfire news stories. They’re hiring technologists who are passionate about journalism and have experience with machine learning, and immersive SDKs like Spark AR.Guest Post