Apple Acquires Augmented Reality Lens Developer
Apple has announced the acquisiton of Akonia Holographics, a Colorado-based start-up that makes lenses for augmented reality glasses that superimpose digital information over real-world images.
Akonia was founded in 2012 and had originally focused on holographic data storage before moving into display creation for augmented reality glasses. The company, which claims to have a portfolio of more than 200 patents related to holographic systems and materials, said its display technology allows for “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-colour, wide field-of-view images.”
Commenting on the acquisition, an Apple spokesperson said, “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.” Likewise, there was no indication of when the deal was concluded or what the cost of the acquisition was.
The augmented reality glasses market is already starting to hot up, with Microsoft launching its darkened HoloLense glasses primarily for indoor use, though these are still largely intended for developers testing the technology and are priced out of the consumer market at several thousand dollars a pair.