Apple Acquires A Canadian Augmented Reality (AR) Startup for $30 Million

According to this article, "Apple Buys Canadian AR Headset Startup Vrvana For $30M," Apple has acquired Vrana for $30 million. Vrvana is best known for their hybrid headset Total, which has not been released yet.


Totem weaves the augmented and virtual reality together to form a single "extended reality" device. The headset tracks head position and the location of the user's hand for manipulation of virtual objects.

Vrvana's camera-based approach is different from those of others like Microsoft, which deploy transparent-based displays for its HoloLens headsets. Totem turns out to be a superior system to such technologies as it can overlay fully opaque, true color animations on top of the real world rather than the ghost-like projections of other headsets, which cannot display the color black. Such technology allows Totem to do what it refers to as a "Seamless blend" transition between VR and AR environments.

What This Means for Apple

The inclusion of augmented reality (AR), superimposes digital information onto real-world images, for example, is likely to drive strong future iPhone sales. With AR technology, the consumer would no longer need to carry a phone, as texts and videos would be available even without the device.

It recently said it would begin operating AKKit, a platform for software developers to design new apps that integrate AR. That set off a wave of innovation in mobile apps, which in turn gave more reason for people to buy iPhones. By encouraging app developers to start on AR now, Apple will have a 2 or 3-year head start on Google's Android operating system, says Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. Google has launched an AR platform called Tango, but it is only available on 2 devices, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus Zenfone AR, which have few users. If Apple can keep a lead on integrating AR into its software, that also give users a reason to keep on preferring the iPhone over cheaper smartphones. This would be particularly helpful in China, which local brands such as Vivo and OPPO's R9 phone, which costs just $400, overtook the iPhone in the country.



Would you buy the iPhone if it had AR capabilities over cheaper smartphones? How will this acquisition affect future iPhone sales? How will it help???

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Nov 24, 2017