Apple has acquired a start-up making “holographic smart glass”

Apple has acquired a start-up making “holographic smart glass”, in the latest sign that an “augmented reality” headset is still in the works as a potential successor to the iPhone. The acquisition of Akonia Holographics is one of several small deals and hires in recent years that have pointed to Apple’s broader ambitions. AR has been popularised on smartphones by games such as Pokemon Go and the messaging platform Snapchat, but Apple has had a secret team working on “smart glasses” using similar technology for more than two years… After buying Israeli computer vision company PrimeSense in 2013, Apple’s investment picked up through 2015 and 2016 with the acquisitions of Metaio and FlyBy Media. The iPhone maker has also hired engineers that had previously worked on Microsoft’s Hololens project… Some of those technologies have already made their way into the iPhone, with features such as “animoji”, which turns a user’s facial expressions into an animated cartoon character… The team that founded Colorado-based Akonia had its origins in Bell Labs in the 1990s, ploughing tens of millions of dollars into R&D before the start-up was founded with $11.6 million in seed funding in August 2012.


Tim Bradshaw