Apple has quietly made the purchase of an Augmented Reality company, Akonia Holographics. Specifically, the company makes holographic lenses for AR and, as they state, allows for “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images.” The Longmont, Colorado company started in 2012 with $11.6 million in seed money and holds more that 200 holographic related patents according to the report for Reuters.
Both companies are saying little about the deal including the financials around it. Apple stated to Reuters that, “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.” It also doesn’t mean we will see a AR headset or holographic lenses from Apple immediately. The Cupertino company has been known to buy technology then spend their time integrating it into their products. The company purchased the technology for Face ID back in 2013 and it took until last year’s iPhone X for it to actually show up.
How, or when, Apple will implement the technology from Akonia Holographics is a mystery but the fact that Apple considers Augmented Reality a key technology of the future is not a mystery. The company has been working tirelessly on ARKit and an update to it, ARKit 2, will be coming with iOS 12. As for a headset or lens of some type, Bloomberg last year suggested it would be 2020 before we saw something from Apple.