Apple has bought an augmented-reality company

Apple glasses

Apple glasses

Apple has been working on various prototype headsets according to leaks that have appeared semi-recently with a launch penciled in for 2019 or 2020. The Denver, Colorado-based company whose main business is to build holographic projectors and waveguide lenses for augmented reality headsets, giving added strength to longstanding rumors that Apple is making a move into the AR space. Currently, taking a hint from their official website, the company is creating displays for AR glasses. Apple confirmed the deal, first reported by Reuters, via the typical statement it uses to verify acquisitions of smaller startups.

Akonia was founded in 2012 and originally pursued advances in holographic data storage before pivoting to augmented reality headsets.

In augmented reality, digital information is overlaid on the real world as in the popular game Pokemon Go. It makes thin, lightweight, low-cost, and transparent lenses onto which images can be projected.

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As well, users will soon be able to leverage the AI capabilities for searching through images, videos, and audio. Most of these features are arriving later this year, but Redmond is giving us an early look at what's to expect.

Akonia has previously raised $11.6 million in a Series A funding round taking place in 2012.

And let's not forget about PrimeSense, which Apple scooped up in 2013. The iPhone X, launched previous year, used a similar sensor to power facial recognition features. Apple declined to comment on its plans or products. Akonia has claimed its technology can produce vibrant colours and a wide field of view, the latter of which has been a problem for many in the field. Just a year ago on a financial conference call with investors, Cook said, "This is one of those huge things that we'll look back at and marvel on the start of it".

Akonia's HoloMirror smart glass utilises a single layer of media, and the company boasts "ultra-clear, full-color performance". Apple already works extensively with augmented reality as part of the iPhone and iPad and continues to push what iOS is capable of while giving developers more tools with which to work.

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