Mapbox, the company behind the maps in apps including Snap and Instacart, hired former Apple and Twitter designer Avi Cieplinski in a bid to boost adoption of location-based augmented reality (AR) features.
Cieplinski told Reuters AR is a “new and very exciting” technology, but currently “ill-defined” in terms of how it can be used in consumers’ everyday lives.
As Mapbox’s new head of design for AR, Cieplinski’s role will be to promote new use cases by helping developers better understand how to creatively incorporate AR features into their apps.
A Mapbox representative told Mobile World Live location information might be employed to help users connect in new ways on social apps, or interactively find nearby shops and deals through retail apps.
Cieplinski (pictured, left) played a similar part during 14 years at Apple, showing developers how to integrate 3D Touch and Taptic Engine features he co-invented.
The move comes shortly after Mapbox opened access to location-based AR capabilities to all developers in May.
While the company acknowledged the basic principles of incorporating location-based AR into applications have yet to be established, it said it hopes Cieplinski’s presence will encourage its customers to experiment.
In April, Mapbox made two other big hires: former Tesla autopilot designer Brennan Boblett was brought in to oversee creation of maps for passengers in autonomous cars, and ex-Google product manager Andrew Chen as its new head of product for maps and search.