Apple has acquired a company that specializes in building lenses for smart glasses that can display augmented reality images overtop the real world. It was recently revealed that Apple has purchased the Colorado company Akonia Holographics for an undisclosed amount.
Akonia Holographics describes its augmented reality lenses as “thin,” “transparent,” and capable of displaying “vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images” Akonia has been working on augmented reality lenses for the past two years. Akonia Holographics is the world leader in systems and materials for holography. Akonia has demonstrated holographic HoloMirror™ display elements whose attributes exceed those of any other commercial technology. The Akonia HoloMirror™ technology will enable headsets that are thin, transparent and lightweight.
Apple has made no secret that they are betting on AR, calling it “a big idea, like the smartphone,” meaning it’s something that everyone will one day end up using. “I think AR is that big, it’s huge,” Apple CEO Tim Cook has said.
According to The Verge, Apple’s AR tech has been developing surprisingly fast for what’s currently just one of many features on the iPhone and iPad. It’s capable of locking virtual objects in place, scaling them as you move around the room, and even letting users interact with them and play games. Few people are actually using this tech on a regular basis, but it seems clear that Apple is putting the tech in place for some much bigger purpose down the road.
Apple is widely expected to announce some sort of smart glass in 2020.