It’s really no secret that Apple, or at least CEO Tim Cook, believes in augmented reality, at least more than virtual reality. It does, after all, have ARCore but nothing equivalent for VR. But like its self-driving car, the company has been unsurprisingly mum about its plans to make and sell an AR product of its own. Actions, however, speak louder than words and buying a startup that focuses on AR lenses is pretty much the smoking gun we could be looking for.
Naturally, Apple downplays the acquisition as something normally it does from time to time, reports Reuters. Nothing to see here (pun intended), move along. Of course, that isn’t going to stop the Interwebs from drawing up conclusions on why Apple would invest in something that it won’t be using.
Founded in 2012, Akonia Holographics initially worked on holographic data storage but eventually shifted its portfolio to holographic displays for AR glasses. The company has been seeking additional funding and have gone somewhat silent over the past six months, hinting that negotiations started near the start of the year.
That would line up with some of the reports that came last year about Apple working on its own AR glasses. There have, of course, been many theories, patents, and even alleged prototypes. If those have so far been correct, then they might also be correct in an estimated 2020 launch for the glasses.
Apple has been building up its portfolio of patents and acquisitions that support the theories. And although there are others, like Microsoft and Magic Leap, who have their feet firmly planted on AR ground, Apple could still turn the tables around by the time it comes out with its own smart glasses. This is, after all, Apple.