While Apple may not be ready to release its roadmap for shipping its rumored augmented reality headset, the company's actions tell us another story.
The latest move, according to a Reuters report, is the acquisition of Akonia Holographics, a company that produces full-color, transparent waveguide displays that shield the right boxes for augmented reality headsets – thin, lightweight, energy-efficient and with a wide field of vision.
Apple's latest acquisition has the display technology needed for consumer-oriented smartglasses, as well as manufacturing processes to make them cost-effective, in line with Apple's Modus Operandi, to make their own components. In addition, Akonia has more than 200 patents for optics and holographic recording and storage, which strengthens Apple's own portfolio of augmented reality patents.
The terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Akonia's Web site [$ 11,6 million] [$9200millioninseedfundingin2012
"Apple occasionally buys smaller companies and we discuss generally not our intention or plans, "the company said in a statement to Reuters.
Despite staying thin-lipped about Having a separate playbook, the general consensus between analysts and anonymous sources is that Apple will deliver its AR Smartglasses by 2020 (though at least one analyst will give the company another year based on the technology currently available). ,
Apple has already assembled a team of engineers, designers and executives dedicated to " Apple's next new product category". Some have come through settings, including the recent additions of a former Twitter manager and a former DAQRI designer. Others have been acquired, namely the AR / VR headset maker Vrvana.
Through its past acquisitions and customizations, the company has been able to build an AR software ecosystem with its ARKit platform and iPhone X TrueDepth sensor. Apple's investment could eventually spur AR wearables.
In the meantime, as its growing AR team continues to work on unconfirmed AR hardware, it is expected that Apple will continue to iterate the AR capabilities of its existing products. Cupertino's best will extend its TrueDepth sensor to more iPhones and iPads this year, and eventually expand the AR capabilities of the rear-facing camera in future iPhones in 2019.