INDUSTRY NEWS

Apple purchase startup focused on lenses for AR glasses

Published Date | 2018 September 20

Apple confirmed its acquisition with Longmont, Colorado-based Akonia Holographic which will promulgate the future market of AR infused glasses in the years to come.
Global: Apple Inc has acquired a startup engrossed on creating lenses for augmented reality glasses. Apple has goals to create a wearable device that would overlay digital information on the real world. This acquisition will have a positive effect on the Information technology sector in the near future. The company was established in 2012 by a group of holography scientists and had initially concentrated on holographic data storage before shifting its efforts to create displays for augmented reality glasses. Akonia said its display technology permits for "thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-colour, wide field-of-view images." The firm has a collection of more than 200 copyrights related to holographic systems and materials. Apple has an account of obtaining smaller companies whose technologies show up years later in its products. In 2013, Apple acquired a small Israeli firm called PrimeSense that made three-dimensional sensors. The iPhone X, launched last year, used a similar sensor to power facial recognition features. Apple is developing augmented reality glasses that can dispatch as early as 2020.

According to the market insights of BlueWeave Consulting, Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real-world are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. It is a vast and profound technological development. In augmented reality, digital information is superimposed on the real world as in the popular game Pokémon Go. Mobile phones use their camera system to do this on the phone's screen, but key technology companies are competing to make glasses that will display digital information on transparent lenses. The Akonia acquisition is the first clear indication of how Apple might handle one of the most daunting challenges in augmented reality hardware: Producing crystal clear optical displays thin and light enough to fit into glasses similar to everyday frames with images bright enough for outdoor use and suited to mass manufacturing at a comparatively lower price. Augmented reality headsets currently on the market such as Microsoft Corp's HoloLens and startup Magic Leap's Magic Leap One both use darkened lenses and are intended for indoor use. Both are also intended for software developers testing the technology and cost several thousand dollars. This acquisition will promulgate the upcoming market for Augmented Reality which can be infused with various objects to lead the future growth of this new technology in the years to come.