Apple Acquires AR Glasses Startup Akonia Holographics [Details]

Glasses which are not solar eclipse glasses or eyeglasses Apple is looking at, rather put its effort in producing AR Glasses, has today announced that it has bought a company that makes lenses for AR smart glasses. Here are the details on its acquisition.

First of all, Apple has acquired a company that specializes in building lenses for smart glasses that can eventually display augmented reality images overtop the real world. The company purchased by Apple is Akonia Holographics, which is a startup.

Apple has picked up a startup that makes lenses for augmented reality glasses, lending more credence to rumors

This is now owned by Apple and advertises its wares as “the world’s first commercially available volume holographic reflective and waveguide optics for transparent display elements in smart glasses.” Although that sounds exactly like the kind of technology Apple would be interested in if it was indeed looking to create its own headset.

Apple Acquisition Of Akonia Holographics For Its AR Tech – Highlights

Akonia describes its augmented reality lenses as “thin,” “transparent,” and capable of displaying “vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images.” The same company was targeting a 60-degree field of view two years ago, which is small and less than most virtual reality headsets. But nevertheless, the company has also described its lens in a way that suggested it offered higher-resolution images than its competitors without putting as many visual obstacles between an eye and a real world.

It’s now official, Apple confirmed the acquisition to Reuters in its usual manner of not detailing why it bought the company. While “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t ever discuss our purpose or plans” may not tell us anything, sources speaking with Reuters have also suggested that Akonia Holographics was “very quiet” over the past six months, which could suggest a deal has been in place for a long while at this point.

Otherwise, Apple has been moving quickly on developing augmented reality tech – you can already see it at work inside the iPhone and the company is said to also be working on an augmented reality headset. With that said, Apple has been working on various prototype headsets according to leaks and Bloomberg which have appeared semi-recently with a launch penciled in for 2019 or 2020.

Apple extensively works with augmented reality as part of the iPhone and iPad and continues to push what iOS is capable of while giving tips to developers more tools with which to work. In fact, the current CEO Tim Cook has publicly been very bullish on AR, calling it “a big idea, like the smartphone,” meaning it’s something that everyone will one day end up using. “I think AR is that big, it’s huge,” he said.

iOS 12 multiplayer AR gaming first look

A demo of Appleā€™s ARKit augmented reality framework

The inclusion of a headset of sorts, however, could push this even further, although costs and the sheer size such a headset could prove troublesome for the market. Where the Cupertino-based company Apple’s AR tech has been developing fast for what’s currently just one of many features on the iOS devices. It’s capable of locking virtual objects in place, scaling them as you move around the room, and even letting users interact with them and play PUBG or Fortnite games, etc.

For now, it’s unclear that Apple is putting the tech in place for some much bigger purpose down the road. Stay tuned for more updates right here at TechGiri.

(Source: Reuters)

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