Apple Buys AR Headset Company Vrvana For $30 Million

Apple acquires AR headset startup Vrvana for $30m

The move adds flesh to the bones of rumours about Apple's plan to launch its own AR headset by 2020.

There's no denying that Apple has an interested in augmented reality technology, but will it ever release dedicated hardware for its software? Totem's custom lenses that provide a significantly wider field of view than competitors displays were a hit. The headset was designed with the combination of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies in a single "extended reality" device, merging VR capabilities with cameras to enable screen-based augmented reality features. Apple is said to have acquired the company for around $30 million. Though it did not offer its boilerplate confirmation, Apple did not refute the acquisition claims. The acquisition is indeed the transparent indicator of all that the company is yet hoping to develop.

As Apple hasn't confirmed the purchase it obviously hasn't exactly said what parts of Vrvana its interested in. Currently, the Vrvana site is still active, but it has made stops in the updates on social accounts and also on news from the month of August this year.

This is different and slightly better than the methods of Microsoft's HoloLens and Windows' Mixed Reality headsets as it means the Totem is able to overlay completely opaque images and animations over the real world rather than ghost-like projections. However, Vrvana's Totem uses "inside out" tracking with cameras to track the wearer's position and infrared sensors to track their hand positions to reduce the delay to only 3ms.

A "number" of Vrvana's employees have reportedly joined Apple's team in Cupertino. With AR tech, the consumer would no longer need to carry a phone, as texts and videos would be available even without the device.

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