The specific tasks of an Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality engineer depend largely on the company they work for. However, in general, this role involves the development of software (and frequently hardware) for AR or VR simulations. AR / VR can be experienced through different means, such as via a headset or using a smartphone camera through AR mobile applications. An AR/VR engineer may work on any of these products.
In more detail
In order to be eligible for an AR/VR engineer job, it is necessary to complete at least a Bachelor of Science degree in a relevant domain. Degrees in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Graphic Design are the main pathways to pave a career in AR / VR.
In-depth knowledge of different programming languages is paramount, though the specific language requirements depend on the company. Some common languages used in this field are C++, C#, and Unity.
It is absolutely necessary to have previous experience in software development. For working on Augmented Reality, rather than Virtual Reality, it is necessary to have a good understanding of computer vision.
This is the discipline in artificial intelligence wherein computers are made to process the visual world similarly to humans. Additionally, AR and VR engineers frequently collaborate with clients and software teams when developing their products. Therefore, good communication skills are important.
Many jobs in AR / VR engineering are related to mobile / game development. However, interactive experiences are increasingly designed for use in other fields, such as in medicine and education. They can even be implemented in augmented reality civil engineering. As such, interest in gaming is not necessary for a career in AR / VR. However, an understanding of existing AR and VR technology is essential, as is being aware of new developments in the field.