Stories on Startups

Apple Buys Augmented Reality Glass Lens Making Startup

Apple has successfully completed its acquisition of the Colorado-based startup company AkoniaHolographics. The startup makes lenses for augmented reality glasses. There have been rumors of Apple strongly focusing on the optical wearable devices to compete with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. This move is a confirmation that we could see some revolutionary optical wearable devices in the near future. The concept of augmented reality has already been implemented by Apple with the launch of iPhone X. The concept of augmented reality is to superimpose digital graphics and information on the real physical world.

Apple To Compete With The Leaders

Apple has officially confirmed the acquisition. However, the spokesperson stated that it is usual for Apple to buy smaller companies from time to time and they are not open to discussing the purpose or the plan behind such acquisitions in public. Akonia was founded by a team of holography scientists in 2012 and the company originally focused on holographic data storage before shifting their focus in creating lenses for AR glasses. The concept of augmented reality went mainstream for Apple users with the viral popularity of the AR-based game Pokemon Go. For now, the users are using the cameras on their iPhones and iPads to enjoy AR experience. But leading companies in the world like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook already have glasses to take the enjoyment to the next level.

What Is So Special About Akonia

Akonia uses a patented display technology for thin and transparent smart glass lenses. The display becomes more vibrant, full of colors, and provides wide field-of-view images. The company has over 200 patents for their holographic systems and materials. Moreover, Akoniaraised over $11.6 million in seed funding in 2012 and the acquisition came when the company was looking for more fund. The exact date or the deal amount is not disclosed but it is believed that the acquisition took place in the first half of 2018.

The Future Plans

Previously, Apple acquired a small startup in Israeli named PrimeSense who used to make three-dimensional sensors. In fact, Apple used their technology to implement the Face ID on iPhone X. As per some reports, Apple is looking forward to launching a smart glass by 2020 and the augmented reality will be the selling point of the product. With this acquisition, Apple has solved the hardware constraint in the development of a smart glass as far as the augmented reality development goes. They are likely to acquire a few more startups in the near future as augmented reality is the future.

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