Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Apple acquires AR display startup Akonia Holographics

Apple has acquired contact lens and augmented reality (AR) glasses start-up Akonia Holographics, the company confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday.

The iPhone maker confirmed the acquisition, but they refused to disclose any further details.

“Apple buys smaller companies from time to time,” they said in a statement, “and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.”

The technology developed by Akonia Holographics can display full-colour, wide-view images on a thin, transparent piece of glass such as a contact lens. It has been described by the company as the “world’s first commercially available volume holographic reflective and waveguide optics for transparent display elements in smart glasses.”

Given the technology’s potential applications for glasses, mobile or computer screens, it is not unrealistic to assume Apple intend to use it to create their first AR headset.

According to rumours by Bloomberg last November, the headset would be codenamed T288 and would be developed alongside a custom OS, “reality operating system” (rOS). It would be ready in 2019 and could ship as a product as early as 2020.

CEO Tim Cook has often praised the great potential of augmented reality. Last year on a financial conference call with investors, he said: “This is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it.”

Reuters have reached out to Akonia Holographics for comment but, at the date of writing, they have not received a response yet.

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