APPLE HAS REPORTEDLY acquired augmented reality (AR) startup Vrvana for $30m amid rumours that it's preparing to launch its first AR headset in 2019.
Sources told TechCrunch the firm has come to an agreement to buy the AR specialist. Apple, naturally, hasn't commented on the reported acquisition, but the deal shows that the firm is looking to increase its efforts and research in the field of AR.
Based in Canada, Vrvana has become a rising star in the AR world. It's best known for the Totem headset, which lets users manipulate virtual objects in a similar way to Microsoft's HoloLens device.
"Totem's hand tracking and inside-out positional tracking empowers your workforce to manipulate virtual objects with their hands wherever they please," the firm explains on its website.
"Totem's ability to produce truly opaque blacks and seamlessly blend the real world with the virtual enables the creation of unique mixed reality experiences so credible that your customers will actually believe that they are in the action."
Vrvana has already worked with an impressive range of companies including Audi, Valve and Tesla, so a deal with Apple would certainly add to the company's recent successes.
As we previously reported, Apple is said to be readying a headset for a 2019 launch, although it won't make its way into customers till 2020.
According to Bloomberg, the firm is currently in the process of "ramping up" its plans to launch an AR device which would take on rival products from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook's Oculus and HTC.
The firm is said to be rushing to get the technology ready for a launch in 2019, and the headset could make its way into the hands of consumers by the start of 2020.
Apple's headset, instead of relying on smartphone, will come with its own display, processor and operating system, according to the report.
In a recent earnings call, he said: "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn. Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever." µ
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