Apple has confirmed the acquisition of Akonia Holographics, sparking a debate over its plans to introduce its own augmented reality headset.
On Wednesday, the iPad and iPhone maker confirmed the buyout, but in Apple's typical form mode, remained calm when it came to more details.
"Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our intent or plans," Apple said in a statement.
Financial details of the acquisition was not disclosed.
Akonia, Colorado, founded in 201
The company has developed a technology called HoloMirror, which overlays a layer of augmented reality (AR) on physical environments. Akonia claims that HoloMirror's display performance "surpasses that of any other commercial technology" and that the solution is suitable for low-cost AR headsets.
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In particular, the company has "thin, transparent smart glass lenses that are vibrant, full-color, wide-field of view images. "
Akonia also owns a portfolio that includes media production and prototyping equipment along with over 200 patents on holographic systems and materials.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality have come a long way since the days when Google Glass submitted an unsuccessful bid for consumer adoption.
While Glass did not decrease – instead finding a place in enterprise applications – highly popular mobile applications like Pokemon Go, which used mixed reality, showed that there is still consumer space interest.
The Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive have proven themselves alongside other VR headsets for consumer-based AE & VR applications.
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In April, reports were released pointing out that Apple is currently working on a wireless headset for VR that has two 8K Detect Displays and Be Available by 2020
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Code names under T288, the rumored headset is being developed by a team of Apple engineers who are also developing a custom operating system, "Reality Operating System" (ROS)
Apple's rumored device may be out of a five Nanometer-powered processor and would serve as a reference design for future Mac systems.
Apple's acquisition of Akonia is unsurprising given the market's growth. According to CCS Insight, the global VR and AR headset market will grow 50 percent annually over the next five years, and by 2022, it is expected to sell $ 121 million in 121 million units.
Akonia previously raised $ 11.6 million in a Series A financing round in 2012.
ZDNet has contacted Akonia and will be updated if we hear it.
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