Apple has reportedly acquired a tech startup called Vrana that makes augmented reality headsets, thus highlighting the possibility of an upcoming AR headset from the iPhone maker.
The software and tech giant reportedly acquired Vrana for $30 million, adding to its portfolio of AR related acquisitions. However, the new acquisition is considered a key move that will allow the company to enter officially into the Augmented Reality industry which has not seen much attention. This is because most other companies have focused a lot on Virtual Reality. The AR startup is popular for its ‘Totem’ AR headset and its acquisition places Apple in a good position to launch AR hardware in the future.
The past two years have been characterized by more interest in VR and AR. Unfortunately, no manufacturer has managed to provide experiences that are pleasing enough to the market. The ‘Totem’ AR headset which was made for a PC experience, however, showed a lot of promise. It features a design that is similar to that of VR headsets but it also has cameras that allow for pass-through thus functioning as an AR headset.
“Anything you would see on the market anytime soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with,” stated Apple CEO Tim Cook during an interview with The Independent.
Cook also revealed his company’s plans for AR during the interview. The iPhone maker plans to unveil a functioning AR headset by the end of 2019 and it is expected to be available in the market in 2020. There had been rumors that Apple’s upcoming AR headset will be a standalone device that will be powered by an internal processor. However, Apple has maintained a tight seal on the developments. Meanwhile, it was revealed in July that the company had filed a patent that showed how it’s upcoming AR glasses that will be powered by an iPhone.
The patent and the acquisition of Vrana strongly confirm that Apple is definitely working on AR hardware but it will probably be a while until the company unveils that hardware. It is also worth noting that Apple might help propel more interest in AR despite its late entry.