Apple reportedly acquired a startup firm that makes augmented reality headsets as it prepares to enter the AR market in coming years.
TechCrunch, citing unnamed sources, reported last month that the tech giant spent about $30 million to acquire Vrvana, which designed the Totem headset. The Totem enables wearers to experience both augmented and virtual reality in a single device.
“Totem’s ability to produce truly opaque blacks and seamlessly blend the real world with the virtual enables the creation of unique mixed reality experiences so credible that your customers will actually believe that they are in the action,” Vrvana writes on its website.
The headset was met with positive reviews, but TechCrunch noted that it never shipped to customers. The report added that Vrvana previously worked with companies such as Tesla, Audi and Valve Corp.
News of the deal came less than two weeks after a Bloomberg report indicated that Apple hopes to ship its own AR headset as early as 2020.
Apple CEO Tim Cook views AR as more promising than virtual reality, and hundreds of Apple employees are already working on hardware and software to support the technology. Numerous Vrvana employees joined their ranks, according to TechCrunch.
“Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever,” Cook said on the company’s latest earnings call.